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I Know You Know

I Know You Know
(Morr Music)

Take a mixture of The Notwist and Lali Puna, then boil them down and strip out the most interesting parts. The result of such an experiment might be something like Guther. A duo who create electronic pop (nay, twee!) music, I Know You Know is unfortunately the most disappointing release I've heard yet on the otherwise peerless Morr Music label. Having been on quite a roll over the course of the past couple years, Guther is easily the most sacarrine, watered-down project that they've released.

Sure, there are some redeemable moments on the 10 tracks of music on this release, but most people are going to have a hard time sitting through it to find them. "The Other Day" opens the disc with fairly passable double-tracked vocals by singer Julia Guther, while guitars with just a touch of grit on them add a melody over an unadorned rhythm. It's on "Boys Do Not Think" that things really go downhill quickly, though. With lyrics that literally sound like they were written by a 12 year old (which I guess might be OK if they actually were), the instrumentation sounds like an even more watered-down version of the first track with added handclap samples.

I guess one thing you could say about the group is that they're never pretentious. If anything, they're simply way too precious. "You" pulls things off the best on the release. Even though it's the longest track on the album, it breaths with fluttering chimes and some warm beat programming and acoustic guitars that compliment the more sung vocals. "Deepest Blue" sidesteps the more straightforward 4/4 beats with a slightly off-kilter rhythm that also helps it to stand out a bit more, arriving like a slightly awkward younger sister to a Stereolab track (which is actually a good thing). In all, the release isn't absolutely horrible, but listening to it makes you wish you were listening to a group doing similar things in a better way (like the aforementioned Stereolab or Lali Puna). Only for the hardcore fans of lightweight (nay, featherweight) electronic pop music.

Rating: 4