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Review: 'Gift, The'

-  Label: 'La Folie Records'
-  Genre: 'Pop' -  Release Date: '5th May 2017'

Our Rating:
Produced and co-written by Brian Eno and mixed by Flood, Portuguese quartet The Gift have gone all out on this, their sixth album.

The slow, smoky soul of ‘I Loved It All’ makes for what seems like an odd choice of opener for an album that’s predominantly uptempo and overtly pop in style. There’s a decidedly 80s vibe about the lightly funky, synth-led ‘Big Fish.’ Elsewhere, there’s a life-affirming buoyance to ‘Malifest’ that’s got the disco energy of Scissor Sisters but without the campy shrillness that grates so, while Bowie-esque vibe of ‘You Will Be Queen’ highlight the depth of The Gift’s abilities.

Single cuts ‘Clinic Hope’ and ‘Love Without Violins’, both playlisted by 6 Music, demonstrate two contrasting sides of the same poppy coin. On the latter, over a snaking semi-industrial synth line, there are some heavy overtones of The Human League, while on the former, the hyped-up keys and pumping rhythm provide the framework for an easy, instant melody that trips along nicely.

Part of me wanted to be able to dismiss ‘Altar’ as cliché, over-produced bilge. But the fact is, it’s a decent album: although it does undoubtedly benefit from the nifty and slick production, it’s the songs that make it. And ‘Altar’ has songs. Strong songs. Catchy, crafted songs. Songs with range, songs with hooks and choruses.

The Gift Online

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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Gift, The - Altar