In a somewhat surreal interview with Fred MacPherson last year, he decreed that the ideal Spector fan was “someone with low self esteem so we can lure them into a false sense of security, mould their dreams to fit in with our pithy compositions and ultimately, destroy their lives.” With his hyper-hipster credentials and carefully constructed, Jarvis Cocker-meets-Bryan Ferry persona, MacPherson deliberately sets out to provoke a reaction. It’s worked: critical responses to Enjoy It While It Lasts have been unusually polarised, both piquing and pissing off listeners in equal measure.
Still, Spector’s debut album certainly has style and MacPherson is a genuinely good lyricist, despite, or perhaps because of, his penchant for heavy irony. Although the album opens in a fairly innocuous fashion with the low-key ‘True Love (For Now)’, it quickly shifts up a gear, with ‘Chevy Thunder’ providing a tongue-in-cheek indie floorfiller. At times it sounds a little bit too familiar: the guitar and bass on ‘Twenty Nothing’ sound like they’ve been lifted from a Strokes song, while parts of ‘No Adventure’ strongly resemble a sample of Nirvana’s ‘You Know You’re Right’.
Spector’s magpie tendency to copy and paste from the existing canon makes for a collection of songs that are undeniably catchy, even though they aren’t doing anything particularly new or original. With all of the tracks neatly clocking in at under four minutes, this album’s greatest strength lies in the juxtaposition of the upbeat arrangements and energetic drumming set against MacPherson’s wry vocals. Like it or not, it’s the stuff that indie playlists are made of. You can always listen to it ironically, after all.