Release date: out now
Kindness’s album’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Like the person at the front of a very long line, “World You Need a Change Of Mind” takes its sweet-ass time working things out and figuring out what it wants. It ultimately ends up a late night apartment dance party, though it takes some incredible diversions along the way.
The easiest thing to do would be to say Kindness lives up to his name — a happy go lucky mix of electronic tomfoolery that takes itself just seriously enough to get it into the after party but not falling into the all-too-common trap of poe faced knob twiddling “electronica.” To review the album for those of you new to the genre (who ultimately might be just the right people to “get” Kindness) it could be said that Kindness is what might happen if Prince wrote an album for Hot Chip. For the older, wiser, and more discerned listener: in here, there’s echoes of Damon Albarn’s solo work, “Sensoria”-era Cabaret Voltaire, and even some James White and The Blacks thrown in there.
The seemingly charming schizophrenia of “World, You Need a Change Of Mind” works on the whole and if anything seems to suffer from a sagging middle section that relies too heavily on “House” – a song that sounds like LCD Soundsystem rehearsing. The song that follows it, oddly, “That’s Alright“, is one of the album’s biggest surprises. In a perfect world, “That’s Alright” would be the song of the summer. The summer of 1993, but the song of the summer surely.
Kindness (the stage name of British singer/songwriter Adam Bainbridge) loses it’s footing at times by trying to juggle personalities the same way other musicians might juggle guitar solos. Its high points will make you want to run out and tell everyone about them and the low points are forgettable enough not to warrant memory. “World, You Need a Change Of Mind” might be a mixed bag but it’s a wholly pleasant mixed bag – and when it finally settles, it settles on being the sort of thing you’d put on at the tail end of a good party. Given the current state of dance music (Skrillex, David Guetta, etc), that might be exactly the kind of sound Kindness was going for.