This six-piece outfit of musical chameleons has developed a reputation for sensational live shows and a large, loyal fan base. They hit the ground running with their third record - ten songs of instantly lovable pop brilliance, fizzing with electrical currents, channeling calypso rhythms and tropical flavors with lashings of percussion a-go-go. Pop effervescence hasn't sounded this fresh in ages.
The latest by the Australia-based Architecture in Helsinki bristles with the excitement of multicontinental and diverse cultural celebrations. Calypso rhythms shimmy through electronic washes, while rock beats and folkish melodies dance the night away. With primary writer Cameron Bird, as well as other members, living or having lived in various places around the globe, this is not altogether surprising. Their offbeat, Dadaist sensibilities are still a key identifier, as Bird delivers such lines as "You forgot to tell me I was gonna grow my hair long" with both utter commitment and bubbling glee. Any lyrical idiosyncrasies are more than matched by musical ones, though they never seem anything less than natural. Warm and inviting avant-gardists, this band's inventiveness always comes across as natural--they continue to endure and grow precisely because of this virtue. Surrealist singalongs, psychedelic nursery rhymes, and angular rockers make for a healthy mix from beginning to end. --David Greenberger