Bright Like Neon Love was a debut release that I held in fairly high regard when it came out, but it was also one of those albums that managed to really stay with me over time. Like label-mates The Avalanches, the group have certainly taken their time in putting out a follow-up (although they did release a Fabric mix awhile back), and In Ghost Colours is the more assured and streamlined result.
Once again, there's a bit of a retro electronic pop influence going on here, with a noticeable nod to New Order (especially in regards to the prominent, clean, and hooky basslines). It's shimmering, but dancy in places, and from the get-go it seems like the now-trio has certainly topped themselves. "Feel The Love" kicks things off with a snappy disco-funk number that rains down sparkling synths over everything, while "Out There On The Ice" ripples breathy synth melodies in sort of a call-and-response with dry vocals.
The album standouts are also two of the first singles, and it's easy to hear why. "Lights & Music" is a perfect slice of dance pop with a hint of rock, as edgier guitars and growly bass bounce off hazy synthlines and glittery choruses that are custom-carved for singing along with. "Hearts On Fire" takes a bit more of an 80s influence as it drops some over-the-top vocal squeal samples, chunky beats, and even sampled saxophone into yet another lush pop framework.
While the highs are certainly high, the album turns into a bit of a one (or two) trick sort of pony over the course of fifteen songs and over fifty minutes. While some of the tracks are basically short interstitials that serve as bridges between songs proper, the actual longer pieces tend to run together into a lush, but somewhat uniform mass. Part of the charm of Bright Like Neon Love is the slightly rough edges and greater deal of variety in the songs, and although In Ghost Colours is certainly a step up in terms of how cohesive it sounds, it loses some of the spontaneity in the process.