Having escaped to the wilds of the country in order to craft this little piece of pop pleasantry, it seems Neosupervital’s time away has done him good as he returns even perkier, even sparklier than ever before – if that’s possible. No time is wasted as the album bangs straight into ‘There’s Only This Time’, a sunshine ray of layered catchy chorus, simple riffs and sweet synths.
Superficially, Battery Power is light and flippant. For example, ‘Dance With You’ really is just about dancing with a girl in a club (and he doesn’t even want to know her name, the cad) but this is a profoundly serious work of fluff. Heavily influenced by ’80s pop superstars from Depeche Mode to Talk Talk, it’s unashamedly of an era. Teen movie power-pop anthems ‘Be Who You Want’ and ‘Sun Goes Down’ almost certainly soundtracked Michael J Fox doing something. And the darkness of the decade’s alt-synth movement creeps into the mix with the heavier ‘Sky Is Higher’ and the French/English mishmash of ‘Distant Light’. Unexpectedly, there’s even a whiff of The Faint in the robotic broken rhythms of ‘Slow Motion’, with its questionable, but hopefully tongue-in-cheek rhyming couplets (“In slow motion, I’d be so victorious / In slow motion as I run for the bus”).
A guilty pleasure perhaps, but you’re a liar if you don’t feel the need to dance at least once and, to be honest, Neosupervital is a dirty little secret you really don’t mind sharing.