Release Date: Mar 1, 2011
Record label: Ninja Tune
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Downtempo, Club/Dance, Broken Beat
Review Summary: The best debut album of 2007 gets an even better sequel. It's always a thrill when a band arrives on their debut album as fully formed as Stateless did, but it become a hurdle to overcome by the time the second album rolls around - if you're already the finished article, what can you add? Then again, when a single answers those questions as brilliantly and succinctly as "Ariel" did, you've got to hold your hands up and give your congratulations. But "Ariel", with its fluid Arabic countermelodies and quasi-exotic percussion, doesn't point the way for the rest of the album in the way you might expect.
Sometimes it seems like the music world is divided into roughly two camps: those who celebrate genre distinctions and those who are dedicated to kicking at them until they fall. But there are also those who just blithely go their own way, simply pretending that the distinctions don't exist. Stateless work in that vein, more or less. The band's sophomore debut tempts fate with a nearly 30-second fade-in (you may think you have a defective disc on your hands, but wait for it), then takes off into a crazy welter of power ballad, electro-glitch, dubstep, atonal, acoustic-based, waltz-funk weirdness that occasionally gets tiring but rarely stops being interesting.
An ambitious second LP from the Leeds band, mixing electronica with soul and strings. Mike Diver 2011 Leeds-formed outfit Stateless have taken significant stylistic strides into new territories on this, their second long-player following 2007’s well-received self-titled disc for then-label !K7. While elements of electronica have always been present, said debut also saw the band attract comparisons to Coldplay and Doves – acts whose flirtations with synths are typically secondary to their preference for guitar anthems.