On Gold, the second album from Riki, the self-identifying New Romantic leaves behind the darkwave of her debut for super slick synth-pop that is heavily indebted to the Eighties aesthetic. We’re talking fretless bass, the occasional honking sax solo, and that plinky bell sound as heard on Ghosts by Japan. And gated snares. Everywhere.
In fact, most of the songs veer between homage and pastiche, with even Riki’s vocal style aping early Madonna, Bananarama, and Sade on different tracks. The only time we leave the 80s is on It’s No Secret, which takes on the dubby pop sound of the mid-90s – while Marigold, featuring album producer Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv, suggests chillwave might be on its way back already.
For all the gloss, Gold is an album underpinned by a sense of melancholia or maybe numbness that at times feels like an exercise in parody, were it not for the strength of some of the songs here.
words SAM EASTERBROOK
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