Album Review: Places Like This - Architecture In Helsinki

Music that can make kids giggle and yet still sound emotional and vital is exactly the sort of thing that makes BlackPlastic go a big rubbery one and as such Architecture In Helsinki have long been a favourite.

Following up on 2005's 'five freaking stars without a doubt' debut, In Case We Die, Places Like This represents album numero duo.

At barely 30 minutes long some could argue why bother going to the effort of designing such a lovely album cover, but still, things kick off with 'Red Turned White' and the sound is noticeably snappier, with an increasing rock sound exposed in some places whilst at other times things sound decidedly more urban.

Places Like This' first single 'Heart It Races' still sounds like the version of The Lion King BlackPlastic once experienced after experimenting a little too hard with organic substances and when it reaches a natural climax two minutes in BlackPlastic can't help but make frankly ridiculous maraca movements to the screams of "heart it races some more!"

Whilst nothing else on the album is quite as immediate as 'Heart It Races', and indeed Places Like This lacks the overall cohesion of In Case We Die there is still so much to enjoy in the short thirty odd minutes on offer that BlackPlastic is sure to end up five staring a lot in iTunes in time. 'Hold Music' sounds far too rowdy to be used as hold music by anyone bar BlackPlastic, coming across like a drunken fall down a staircase that does nothing but inspire laughter.

Surely a future single, 'Like It Or Not' starts off in true Archictecture In Helsinki fashion with the first forty seconds spent repeating the lyrics "Singing 'Waa Waaa Waa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waaa Waa Waaa Waaa"... It's probably not not going to win a grammy but fuck it, it sounds lie the most exciting street party ever and makes BlackPlastic want to dance on the ceiling whilst singing "Her mom thinks she's in love with you and I'm not". BlackPlastic has no idea if it has the lyrics right and frankly doesn't care.

Closing on 'Same Old Innocence', a crisp electronic funk shout-along rocker there is no doubting that another 10 minutes would have only added to the joy but you can't fault Architecture In Helsinki for their sheer confidence. Places Like This sounds like a band total in command of their sound and who frankly don't much care about the fame or the money. In fact it is a little difficult to listen to Places Like This without BlackPlastic seeing a bunch of hippies banging out the tunes on a set of saucepans whilst simply doing their best to avoid getting a proper job. Frankly if BlackPlastic can do anything as grand as listening to Architecture In Helsinki and help someone avoid getting a proper job consider it done... Maybe you feel the same way?

If you still want convincing just how much fun you could be having right now check out the Paris street party rendition of 'Like It Or Not' in the video here. It's so good it makes BlackPlastic want to cry man-tears of joy.