Athlete – Beyond The Neighbourhood

Athlete – Beyond The Neighbourhood / 2007 Astralwerks / 11 Tracks / http://www.athlete.mu /

Athlete is perhaps the biggest band that no one has heard of in the United States. Their last album, “Tourist”, went double platinum, and “Beyond The Neighbourhood” is poised to do the same thing. From the opening strains of “In Between 2 State”, Athlete shows that they understand how to get individuals involved with their music.

This introductory segment of “In Between 2 State” is nothing more than electronic noise that is strung together to create a realistic sounding landscape, and by the time that ends, Athlete has all that have listened in’s attention. The mournful guitars and sequenced-sounding drums that start up give a darker side to this track. The end result reminds me of walking through a street in a rainy, dreary day: there may be a little bit of hope at the edge of the skies, but it doesn’t seem likely. The modification of moods by Athlete are their strongest face on “Beyond The Neighbourhood”, and this is why a short track like “In Between 2 State” can only run for two and a half minutes and be one of their best tracks. There is a much more organic sound present during “Hurricane”, which flips the mode o something ultimately more hopeful. The vocals have a modern current sound to them that mesh well with the underlying electronic sound that the rest of the band creates for this track. While the guitar work is relegated to a secondary place vis a vis the vocals on the track, the intensity of the arrangements does not show that, shining during all the moments in which the vocals clam up. “Tokyo” is the track that most impress me about Athlete.

The track starts off in the most nondescript way possible, and gradually blooms into the band’s largest hit on “Beyond The Neighbourhood”. This is due to the increasing and decreasing tempo achieved by the band, which is linked into the modification of moods that the band completely so successfully during this and other track (such as “In Between 2 State”). “Tokyo” is the track that will break Athlete big once again, and it is this emotive, pop-link, and fun track that may just increase their sales in the United States. Disregard the “United Kingdom” aloofness that exudes from the track, Athlete shows that they have potential for success in the United States during this and every other of their eleven tracks of “Beyond The Neighbourhood”.

Top Tracks: Tokyo, Second Hand Stores

Rating: 7.3/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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