Wild Nothing Life of Pause
An album should boast many things, but cohesion isn’t necessarily one of them—as long as its songs hit their target and/or properly transport their listener. Wild Nothing’s dreamy 2010 debut, Gemini, strongly exhibited all three attributes, and 2012’s Nocturne came close. Now, Life of Pause finds Jake Tatum branching further out by basically finding inspiration in all the 1980s and early-’90s U.K. indie acts that didn’t influence the first two LPs, along with the occasional nod to Anglo soul. The resulting aesthetic hopscotch—examples: “Whenever I,” which somehow bridges The Boo Radleys with Lisa Stansfield, and “Lady Blue,” a near-mashup of Belle and Sebastian and ABC—would be less peculiar if the melodies and narratives rose above pleasant-enough status. Tatum does manage both tuneful and evocative victories on Krautrockian/New Wave-ish single “To Know You,” the Talking Heads-lite “Reichpop” and the sunny, Cocteau Twins-meet-Foxygen title track, but they’re great songs on an album otherwise straining to be more than its parts.