The Kills' 2005 debut No Wow was a frequently tiresome parade of regurgitated New York influences.
Happily, they've made a leap forward with the splendid Midnight Boom, which retains the stripped-down sound but allies it to catchy pop hooks and lines: "You are fever, you ain't born typical"; "I'm bored with cheap and cheerful, I want expensive sadness", etc.
The alliance with Spank Rock's producer Alex Epton has paid dividends: there's a punchy heft to the arrangements, even when they're just drums, bass and scatted vocal hook combining in a skeletal boogie trance, as in "Getting Down". On "Cheap and Cheerful", the groove recalls the off-kilter beats of MIA. "Black Balloon" has some of The Raveonettes' deconstructed rock classicism, before the album closes on a gossamer bed of acoustic guitar and piano with "Goodnight Bad Morning".
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