If you haven’t fallen in love with The Mystery Plan by the mid point of opening salvo Those Stars, then you really should see a doctor, or perhaps even a psychiatrist. How could you not find everything you need in its drifting textures, louche beats and sultry saxophone? If there was a decent bookshop nearby and a place that does good cheese, I’d move there tomorrow.
Five albums in and we find the The Mystery Plan as smart and ground-breaking as ever, wandering between ethereal pop and sassy trip-hop, gentle shoegaze and chilled clubland sounds, dancing with the ghosts of post-punk past and leaving footprints for alternative dance yet to be. But you get to a point when you are just making up genres for an album which defies genres, not wilfully or with any malice aforethought, it just seems to forget that they are there. Opps!
Lolaphone leads us on a hazy, trippy dance spurred on by burbling bass lines and beguiling, nonsensical vocal samples, Long Way To Heaven has the touch of the cosmic cowboy about it and Electric Love shows that the band can rock out with the best of them but when they do they prefer to head off into the psychedelic playgrounds of an eastern otherworld to do it.
But we knew that this was going to be worth the wait, the singles said as much, Ballad of JC Quinn revelling in a blend of dream-pop and dance, 60’s vocals and shuffling backbeats and the punningly fiendish Al Gore Rhythms sounding like a long forgotten slice of 90’s Bristol (UK).
I have to admit that I am late to the Mystery Plan party but you can be damned sure that I am going to be at the head of the queue from now on! It doesn’t really matter what the queue is for, if their name is involved, I’m there.*
*Geographical and financial restrictions permitting.