The Top 50 Albums of Year 2010… #24 GROOVE ARMADA “Black Light”
24. GROOVE ARMADA “Black Light”
Groove Armada’s “Black Light” is probably the absolute pinnacle of artist evolution in 2010. These guys have been around since I can remember; back in my high-school days they were setting dance floors and radio-charts alight here and there with brilliant songs off – generally speaking – patchy albums. Never really big albums artists, when the other GA blitzed into the New Year with this absolute masterpiece, it was hard to stop listening. For the first time, Groove Armada had well and truly nailed the art of making a perfect album.
Full of incredible guest vocal spots from the likes of Bryan Ferry (!), Will Young, Nick Littlemore, SaintSaviour and Fenech Sole, the artist association here alone is exciting enough to warrant listens, but it magically takes on a whole life of its own when you press play as it exceeds any expectations those rattled-off names may fill you with. The airy influences of, particularly, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks, breeze through Light in such an effortless fashion that you’d think Groove Armada were making truly perfect pop music like this all their lives. “Song 4 Mutya” aside, there isn’t a single Armada track on any of their previous releases that is as good as all twelve tracks on Black Light.
“I Won’t Kneel” is the type of majestic moment that should have done a lot more commercially than it did, with its high-octane synths and driving bassline, “Look Me In The Eye Sister” classically sounds like it should be played on a turntable rather than through iTunes, and subtlely stunning moments such as “Shameless” and “History” glimmer beautifully and uniquely among a collection of absolute diamonds.
It’s all about the single “Paper Romance” here though, a song which has grown from being decent, to great, to brilliant, to one of the Top 5 songs of 2010 in a matter of months. Could the sonic perfection of this lyrically sharp exercise into broken love actually be even better than their greatest single, “Song 4 Mutya”? One listen to this powerful moment in pop should answer your question with a resounding Yes.
Not as many people bought this as was deserved. Big shame; you’ve all missed out on quite a moment in electronic music and the unravelling of a band who’ve not only raised the bar when it comes to their career, they’ve smashed it into little pieces.