MY COMPUTER Vulnerabilia (13 Amp)
My Computer are a Manchester duo with a history as part of Creation never-weres One Lady Owner, and "Vulnerabilia" has already been talked up by some sections of the press as album of the year material and the most original debut to emerge from the city since Happy Mondays' "Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out)". If originality these days is measured by the diversity of the influences you can bring to the party, My Computer have the substance to back up such wild claims. "All I Ever Really Wanted Was A Good Time" is heavy on vocoders and bubbling electronica, sounding like Daft Punk clouded by Radiohead gloom, a kind of "Paranoid Android" for the morning after. "More To Life" opens with Rachmaninovian grandeur being rent asunder by a pub piano, with vocals that strongly suggest the star-soaked histrionics employed by Muse's Matt Bellamy. "Majic Flat" is one of the albums surprisingly few thumping and pumping upbeat tracks, yet it mutates into a coda in which dramatic piano rolls are plagued by buzzing, diseased electronic squiggles. "For Somebody Else" begins with what sounds like a drug dealer's sales patter, moves through a strummed acoustic guitar section that appears to muse on the bitterness of a broken relationship before swerving into a pounding techno thing. Then "No More Dealing" finds the album at its gentlest, the death rattles of old office equipment supporting a Nick Drake-style folksy rumination on a lifechanging moment of clarity. The brief reprise "If You Dare" even sounds like a "You'll Never Walk Alone" for the chemical generation. So much style, oodles of technique, brimming over with ideas, yet somehow "Vulnerabilia" leaves me cold. It's impressive, but, for the most part, desperately lacking in anything that flickers of real, human soul.