Temposhark: The Invisible Line
Paper + Glue

Straight out of London, Temposhark's debut album The Invisible Line is slick electro that merges tracks from already-released EPs with new tunes. Lead singer Robert Diament and knob twiddler Luke Busby flesh out their Temposhark mix of glam-pop, emotive ballads, and raucous club ravers with contributions from bassist Mark Ferguson, drummer Mathis Richert, and guest appearances by violinist Sophie Solomon and Imogen Heap, whose vocals boost the heavy electro-rock cut “Not That Big.”

The group delivers its material with precision and passion and Diament's crystal clear voice effortlessly segues from a pleading quiver to an angry snarl but, compositionally, the album's sometimes hit-and-miss with great songs diminished by others less fabulous. The opener, “Don't Mess With Me,” auspiciously pairs Diament's vitriolic vocal with orchestral strings in an arrangement that one could almost call bombastic. Next up is the more representative “Joy,” a hand-clapping electro anthem already familiar to UK clubbers. The emotive electronica of “Invisible Ink” is nicely enhanced by tabla accents but the song's natural feel is offset by a distorted talk-box effect. The album's best moments emerge during the soaring pop of “Blame,” the slinky electro-funk of “Crime,” and the sparkling lullaby “Winter's Coming.” Calling to mind the singing style of Darren Hayes, Diament reduces his voice to a whispered croon on the lush electro ballads “It's Better to Have Loved” (Diament and Busby joined by Guy Sigsworth, who produced two songs) and “Battleships.”

Yes, there are lesser moments, most egregiously the repetitive and too-obvious “Knock Me Out” whose simple-minded lyrics like “Hit me like a hurricane / Hit me like a bomb, bomb” won't appeal to anyone older than thirteen (if that). Though The Invisible Line is marred by occasional lapses, fans of Pet Shop Boys, Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode, and Savage Garden should cotton to Temposhark's exuberant glitterball sound.

March 2008