Having been listening to Teleman for a few years now with debut album ‘Breakfast’ being one of my favourites from the past few years, ‘Brilliant Sanity’ was one of my most anticipated albums of 2016. Especially after teaser new singles ‘Fall In Time’ and ‘Düsseldorf’ from earlier in the year, which appropriately wet the appetites of us all and I was eager to hear if the album lived up to expectations.
‘Düsseldorf’ opens the album with reverb laden synths and chugging guitar rhythms throughout the track and truly builds well into the album. The lyric “put on, put on your favourite song” could also ring true about any of the upcoming tracks on the album. This is followed by first single ‘Fall In Time’ which is minimalistic and in typical Teleman style in comparison to their previous songs. Although ‘Fall In Time’ is significantly darker than anything Teleman have previously released and this is definitely a good thing as it works with the minimal approach to this track.
‘Glory Hallelujah’ is the first track that I wasn’t already aware of from the album following both previous singles. The track provides us with quirky lyrics, one of my personal favourites from the track being the random inclusion of a rather confident “step on the spider!”. Then moving forward into the more positive title track ‘Brilliant Sanity’ which provides us with twinkling synths and storms into next track ‘Superglue’. The powerful, fragility in Tom Sanders vocals shines through on ‘Canvas Shoe’, a more ballad-style song which calms the album in the middle. This doesn’t last for long though as this urgently moves into ‘Tangerine’ which is probably the most upbeat track on the album with fuzzy, heavier guitars throughout. Of all the tracks, this one would probably go down best live as it’s got the most energy by far. This then goes onto ‘English Architecture’, which is probably the minimalist on the album alongside ‘Fall In Time’.
The album starts to pick up from ‘Melrose’ onwards towards the end of the album. ‘Drop out’ which is appropriately named as midway through the song it drops out into an electronic, middle eight part which doesn’t really go anywhere or add much to the song, but it’s interesting nonetheless. The track is quite dark with melancholic synths droning throughout the verses of the track towards the contrasting, energetic chorus’. These chorus’ being so catchy, they could sound like they have been directly lifted from or placed in a Franz Ferdinand track.
One thing that is instantly noticeable from ‘Brilliant Sanity’, is that this album is far less minimal than ‘Breakfast’, almost in a way that they’ve thrown everything at it by the midpoint of the album. Although this is great in an experimental sence, but it almost takes away the edge that Teleman had crafted perfectly on their debut. This album also seems to be, in a sense, darker than the debut.
Difficult second album? Not quite. Teleman have proved there’s no such thing with ‘Brilliant Sanity’ which proves to be an excellently crafted, timeless, electro-pop album and a fantastic follow-up to their debut, ‘Breakfast’. With reminiscent, almost story-telling lyrics throughout ‘Brilliant Sanity’ is memorable and consistent. While originally skeptical that they’d possibly drifted from what made Teleman unique, the album is insanely catchy and definitely a grower, and a quick one at that.