Album: Napoleon Iiird, Christiana (Brainlove)

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The Independent Culture

James Mabbett, the laptop surfer who operates as Napoleon IIIrd, may live in Holmfirth (home of Last of the Summer Wine), but his heart is clearly in Copenhagen, home of the anarchist commune that gives his album its title.

As he admits in "Leaving Copenhagen", "I think I might have political tendencies that sway towards the anarchistic... let's all go to Christiania". Those tendencies are clearly on display in his music, which has the relentless, cycling industry and digital-soup density of Animal Collective, fronted by a choir of Napoleons declaiming and disparaging in equal measure; but sometimes, it's hard to avoid the suspicion that all the layers of sonic murk are disguising a shortfall of songcraft. The best tracks are the least cluttered: the fluttering minimalist pop pulse of "MTFU", the hazy drone textures of "I Try", and the floating, funereal dignity of "Guys Just Wanna Have Sun".

DOWNLOAD THIS I Try; MTFU; Guys Just Wanna Have Sun