So Far We Are
Label: Vagrant Records
It's good to hear the French Kicks leave the ranks of tired new wave revivalists with their third LP, taking on glassy-smooth, expertly constructed pop that brings to mind contemporaries like Spoon one moment and old-school source material like a-ha the next. The band breathes new life into the well-trod '80s by building tunes like "Knee High" and "Keep It Amazed" into elaborate sonic layer cakes, and Nick Stumpf's full-throated falsetto gives every syllable expressive heft. Molly Ringwald dance-alikes will delight in "Also Ran" and "England Will Just Not Let You Recover."