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Album Review: INEGO "Departures"

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

As far as albums go, there are very few that I've waited for with quite so much anticipation as this one!

I was first introduced to INEGO back in 2018, when this site was in it's infancy, when the band came to me with their single Nobody - which still remains one of my favourite songs of all time. Back then, we were promised a debut full length album and finally, here we are!

Firstly, a quick introduction for the uninitiated. Hailing from Manchester, the band is made up of Toby (guitars, vocals), Pete (drums), Dan (guitars), and Stefan (bass). INEGO, named after a character in The Princess Bride (Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father!), have been around for some time. Their first single Your Style Defeats Me was released back in 2011 and defined what would become their signature style, very much in the pop rock genre.

And so to the album. Produced by Gavin Monaghan (Editors / Robert Plant / The Twang) at Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton, Departures consists of ten tracks (nine plus a dub mix) of pure, unadulterated INEGO treats. They have always infused their music with sounds of New Order, Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk in liberal measures and I am delighted to hear that they have stuck to that winning formula throughout the album.

The album opens (and closes) with the mysterious Je sais ce que tu ressens - filled with airy synths, a funky bass and guitar riffs, punctuated by spoken French samples and the occasional blast of brass - something that seems to feature frequently throughout the album.

We're treated to a couple of previously released tracks, the excellent I Need Your Love and Phoenix Arizona within the track list, but they somehow seem to pale into insignificance when surrounded by so many relentlessly perfect songs on the album.

From the moment the needle hits the record (or, slightly less romantically, the moment you press play on your music streaming software) you're placed on a dancefloor inspired merry-go-round that refuses to let you come up for breath until you reach Track 9 Somewhere In The Stars which slows the tempo and loses the funky element. This track, whilst still maintaining the familiar INEGO style, is far more poignant and relaxed.

For me though, the standout track is the incredible Can You Feel? ...remember we said there was a New Order influence to INEGO? Yeah, this is a prime example.

I have to say, I'm like the proud uncle of a newborn baby, hearing this album. I never doubted that it would be great, but "great" is an understatement - Departures is truly exceptional.


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