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Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Ratings
The debut album for the New York group started by Daniel Collas and Sean Marquand.
out of 11
This is a party album, whose two centrepieces--the proto-disco drone of You Disappear, and the playground chant of 15 to 20--are irresistible invitations on to the floor.
Collas and Marquand hold things down with DJ tightness, while members of bands like TV on the Radio and The Dap Kings let loose in the grooves.
This album encapsulates the nostalgic elements of ESG, ELO, Tom Tom Club, The Doors and Sly And The Family Stone, applies a gloss of New York cool and then re-packages it with the modern production of the LCD Soundsystem, CSS and Beck variety. Forget the handclap, they'll take a standing ovation.
PHB's sense of style is spot-on, but the anemic tunecraft on The Phenomenal Handclap Band is unlikely to impress fans of the O'Jays or Curtis Mayfield.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend the LP for anyone who can't make an hour on the treadmill, but there are a few tunes here worth hearing. Too bad you can't exactly make out who's cranking them out.
It's hard to get excited about music which never gets too excited itself. What good ideas The Phenomenal Handclap Band do have are spread a little thinly on this debut.
Overall The Phenomenal Handclap Band, despite its talented cast and ambitious reach, can't quite pull all threads together. Next time, maybe, with more hand claps.
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