Handsome Furs, the Canadian duo comprised of former Wolf Parade guitarist Dan Boeckner and his wife, have raised the tempo with their third studio album, Sound Kapital. Unlike their previous two albums, Sound Kapital was composed exclusively on keyboards and drums, giving the album a distinct 1980s-synth feel and challenging Boeckner to move beyond guitar as his primary means of expression. The album exudes the couple's love for travel, as well as political themes.
Sound Kapital opens with the dance-worthy beat of "General Observations." The song is repetitive, but like most of the other tracks on the album, the repetition gives the song a sense of familiarity rather than annoyance. The lyrics set the stage for the theme of travel that weaves itself throughout the songs.
Another noteworthy song on the album is the fifth track, "Serve the People." One of the more political tracks, this song has a slow beginning but then quickly picks up in tempo. This is the first time that Sound Kapital has a slow tempo similar to past Handsome Furs albums. However, once the beat picks up, "Serve the People" is a very energetic song.
"Damage" and "What About Us" are easily the two weakest songs on the album. "Damage" begins with a sample from a radio broadcast, but Handsome Furs never revisits the sample, nor do they use other samples anywhere in the album, leaving the track feeling disconnected from the rest of the album.
"What About Us" takes Handsome Fur's use of repetition too far. While other songs on the album masterly combine repetitive lyrics and rhythms with variances, this track's monotonous melody does not provide enough deviance from the standard.
Overall, these two tracks do not detract from Sound Kapital as a whole. The combination of 80s dance synth, intriguing lyrics, ambient sounds and drones makes Sound Kapital a successful third album for Handsome Furs.
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Reviewer Bio - Julie Henderson is a recent graduate from Whittier College. She is an aspiring actress and connoisseur of all things music. During her four years at Whittier, Julie worked at the campus radio station doing everything from CD Reviews to Marketing, and eventually running the station as Station Manager. When not writing for OnlineRock or rehearsing plays, Julie is spending her free time teaching herself photography.