Islands, 'Vapours' (Anti-)

7
Vapours
Critical Mass
Label: Anti-

by Josh Modell

Call it Nick Diamonds Gets His Groove Back. Former Unicorn Nick Thorburn went a bit dark and dreary on 2008's Arm's Way, but with Vapours, the transplanted New Yorker relearns his playfulness: "Heartbeat" gleefully busts out Auto-Tune, so if you've ever wondered what Kanye imagines when he listens to Vampire Weekend, here you go. The title track tickles a cruise-ship vibe, then flat out asks you to love it: "Hope I entertain, hopin' you get dancin' feet." It's not all sunshine -- "Disarming the Car Bomb" needs more grit, and "Shining" sounds pulled from bleaker times -- but Vapours is a welcome righting of the ship.

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