Sofi Tukker - Treehouse
Sofi Tukker have damn near everything going for them. They are two beautiful people, they are on the very crest of what's hip and have an inclusive message that the youth eat up like candy. They work with some of the best people in the business and this debut album has them primed for major success. They play in a tropical blend of jungle EDM and global pop with Portuguese lyrics almost throughout, so with all this going for them why does it feel like Treehouse is missing something? It's something I can never put my finger on, and I know this is not a popular opinion, but having seen them live twice now and following them from almost the beginning of their career, nothing about this record feels sustainable. They borrow from 90s EDM, heavy on the percussion and an embrace of world music sounds. It's unabashedly millennial, whatever that may mean but you can almost smell the internet all over this record. It is almost like they are pushing to hard, throwing too many sounds in rather than letting the music just flow. "Benadryl" for example has a wonderful verse and bridge with Sophie Hawley-Weld singing sweetly over a nice beat, but once the chorus comes in her vpoice is overly affected and it switches to this clunky call and response. They do this constantly, almost punctuating every single song with the same gimmick. It's catchy as hell but this punch gets weaker and weaker as the album progresses. The formula is too dialed in and too predictable, but god damn it works if you ever find yourself fucking on one.
The record at times feels like Madonna's Vogue meets Brazil, which should be a change of pace not the focal point of the entire album. "Best Friend" featuring The Knocks and Nero was everywhere including an damn apple commercial, but for some reason I just don't get it. I think Sofi Tukker really rely on the fun that they are having making the music, but it doesn't quite translate to the listener. It can feel somewhat self indulgent and exclusive, a sound that acts like it it is trying to be inclusive without really making an effort to be. The thing is, Sophie and Tukker are so damn likable it forgives almost their biggest musical failings. You want them to succeed because they are so damn nice and hip as shit. yet that goodwill only goes so far, you need something that bangs and something that sets them apart from everyone else. Right now their formula is too dialed in, to much of the same across every single song. This record doesn't feel like the one that is going to break them wide open on the pop stage, but all the bones are there, they just need to put it all together.
7.0 out of 10