Moonraker is an unassuming first acquaintance, but give them a few extra rounds in your CD-player. This is a wonderful and smooth pop album referencing everything from trip-hop to coffeehouse jazz, delivering it with style, class and some melodies to kill for.

This young band has already shifted 5,000 copies of their independently released debut album, mainly to concert-goers in their own Boston region, and this self-titled album is an attempt to bring the rest of the world up to speed. Moonraker collects tracks from their debut alongside a couple of new songs, some re-recorded tunes, as well as songs from their self-titled EP; so this is a great chance to get to know these guys.

Out of the new songs, “Courageous World” and “Salimander Skin” are huge slices of seductive, charming pop music delivered with a lazy beat and a loose structure. “Shalom” is a fine new version of the high point of their debut album, and “Can I Love” is basically a really sweet disco-pop track that you could see St. Etienne doing.

A couple of the songs are perhaps a bit too jam-oriented for their own good, bringing to mind Stereo MC’s in some of their more drifting moments. But generally speaking, Moonraker plays with a passion and a solid presence throughout. The off-kilter percussion work blends Blaze with Portishead, and Kelli Scarr’s voice slides between Natalie Merchant and Björk. Moonraker never screams for your attention, preferring instead to snuggle up beside you and to win you over with time and elegance. It’s not an album that’s going to get you right away, but stay with it for a while and you’ll fall in love too.

Immergent Records:

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