Modern Griots Review: The Noisettes’ Have a Weaker Transmission With ‘Contact’

After two albums like What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf and Wild Young Hearts, I am saddened to have to admit this. Another band has let go some of the essence that gravitated me towards them in the first place. I know, bands are allowed to explore and change their sound, and that includes The Noisettes. But this album, Contact, is packing more of a pinch than a punch in its sound.

It is not that the songs on their third album are not good or catchy, but they are not great. They lack some of the rawness that the early Noisettes’ songs had. There are tracks on the album that standout like the country and folk music-styled “Ragtop Car” and the sentimental ballad, “Traveling Light,” which sounds like it could be sung in the smokey cafe in Casablanca.The two singles, “Winner” and “That Girl” are danceable with their 80s power pop or pop-punk influences. The 80s influences can also be heard in the power ballad “Never Enough.”

However, the other songs on the album fall a little flat despite the effort. Shingai Shoniwa’s voice is the most appealing about them, and they don’t capture the magic and strangeness of songs in the past, like “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “Never Forget You,” “Sister Rosetta,” “Don’t Give Up” and “Atticus.” To put it simply, I don’t care enough to listen to them again and again. Overall, the songs sound like they are from another teenage rock band or pop r&b band.

So, I am going to go back and listen to their first two albums and hope that their next album will be a lot stronger. And that shows how much I still like them in that I am willing to keep listening for another one and to try to give this one another chance. Until next time, this transmission ends.

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