Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Armed with a litany of beats, Casiotone melodies, and slightly atonal singing, Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim attempt to bring minimalist dance music to the masses. They mean well, but their sophomore album, Grand, is an endless string of uptempo rhythms, sing-along attempts, and ubiquitous synth sounds that moves quickly from quirky and fun to borderline tedious, all in less than 30 minutes. There are exceptions, particularly the frenetic "Cutdown," with its snapping snare drums and hand claps, and "Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare," with its catchy melody and coy strings. The lead track, "Daylight," is the album's best, with simple, memorable lyrics and a spine-tingling melody that's alternately dramatic and cheerful. Grand's undercurrent of passion and originality needs to be nurtured, though, because what's left is a potential for great songs that rarely bears fruit. Grand might inspire head-bobbing and smiles, but it'll rarely make a jaw drop.


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