Album Review

Woman, Man and A Machine

Woman, Man and A Machine

by The Sproutts


8 / 10
1st June 2009

Reviewed by Undertheradar


Who are the sprouts? They totally seem to be that band that I see on posters all over the place and sometimes almost make it to their shows but never really hear anything else about.

Well, from the sounds things, The Sproutts (on new album Woman, Man and a Machine at least) are like a checkpoint of contemporary New Zealand pop. Sometimes they sound like Lawrence Arabia, all ironic lyrics and semi-driving surf guitar solos (‘God of your Gaps’). Sometimes, like in ‘My Friend’s an Inventor’ where the melancholic male vocals drip from shitty keyboards, they sound like Goodshirt (RIP, and who, for the record, I think arrived slightly too early for the awkwardly cute potential that single ‘Sophie’ promised) and sometimes they sound like The Brunettes, as in ‘When I was 14’, all awkward kiwi accents and male-female lyrical rhetoric.

So with the cornerstones marked and the Belle and Sebastian via kiwi accent and swandri with lo-fi production all in check, what do The Sproutts go and do? Write an amazing title track. ‘Woman, Man and Machine’ is super cute, it’s about a woman and a machine (complete with Vocoder) falling in love – surprisingly – and talks about Delorian’s. I LOVE Back to the Future.

Admittedly there are a few awkward out of tune singing and playing moments, but these aside it’s a checkpoint through minimalism pop and these warbles almost add to the overall charm of an hazy Sunday afternoon Summer album, and let’s face it, no-one sings in time on a Sunday afternoon.




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