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No Fear Of Fives
on June 24, 2011
A few years off have done good things for Lamb. Their last record (2004's "Between Darkness & Wonder") made it clear that Andy Barlow and Louise Rhodes were headed for musical splitsville. But in the interim, with Barlow doing lush jazzy lounge electro with Lowb and Lou doing her own acoustic folk, it became clear that a reunification made sense, and by 2011 they were ready to hit us with "5."
Like many bands, Lamb's instinct is to mellow with age. This is their quietest record, with only one powerful driver ("Build A Fire"), and the quietest tracks are also the best, notably "Another Language," "Last Night The Sky," and "The Spectacle." Never a belter or siren, Rhodes's voice feels most at home when she's crooning over a simple piano refrain, or an undulating bassline, and Barlow largely dials back his production to make room for her.
"5" most resembles their third record "What Sound," but stripped of much of its electro glitch breaks and replaced with more atmospherics and Latin percussion. Only "Strong the Root" in any way recalls band's breakout early days of polyrhythmic jazzy drum-n-bass. But that's not a bad thing.