[6 July 2009]
After the success of “Space to Rent” and their disaffected version of “Satisfaction”, WhoMadeWho have a clear stamp on good-times sophisticated European electro-pop. The sound isn’t new, but this Danish trio does it just as well as fellow-Scandinavians Datarock. But WhoMadeWho are more sonically adventurous, and bring a playful attitude to their music that plays refreshing. On their second full-length album they’re in easy command of the form. WhoMadeWho have a distinctive voice—it’s just that it’s a combination of quite familiar components. There’s the Rapture’s dance-punk, LCD Soundsystem’s deadpan hipsterism, and any mainstream dance pop act’s silk-smooth vocals. More surprising, WhoMadeWho’s use of organic instrumentation—including the stark woodwinds that open “TV Friend”—allows them to branch out into timbres as diverse as pop-rock and Kaada-esque Spaghetti Western. When they venture further into the truly bizarre, as on the clickety-clack fuzz of “I Lost My Voice”, things get exciting. And through the whole thing, you can hear the group winking slyly from behind their fancy skeleton-costumes. Overall, though, The Plot is a surprisingly sedate album. Call it solid electropop for this season—under a dark cloud, they seem to say, we’ll sway but not jump up on our toes.