Netherworld Dancing Toys: Everything Will Be Alright

NZ Listener

EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT, Netherworld Dancing Toys (CBS)

It has taken me some time to nail down my feelings towards this (to borrow a phrase) ‘difficult second album’. Producer Nigel Stone has utilised samplers, sequencers and a swarm of session-hands to give the Netherworlds an internationally acceptable high-gloss finish.

It sounded impressive for the first spin or so; then I began to feel that the extravagant production was ill-matched to the songs, which tend to be introspective and slight, and to Malcolm Black and Nick Sampson’s singing which, at best, emits a low-key Kiwiness. I’m not suggesting they should have taken the Chris Knox four-track-in-the-bedsit approach, but perhaps a listen to Paul Kelly or the Go-Betweens might indicate a way to present these pleasant, personal songs without overdressing them. When local radio stations aren’t even playing this album as it stands, with all its FM production values, what is there to lose?

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