Boytronic have been around for a while and with a few different line-ups. Originally launched in 1983 they return after another decade of silence. The first being the time between their ’92 album The Heart And The Machine and ’02’s Autotunes. Jewel is their first album since Dependence was released in ’06 and introduces us to new vocalist James Knight.
Jewel is a heavily developed album firmly set in the sound of the 80’s. With its plethora of tailored synth sounds not only does it reference the bands’ history but other acts from the time of their conception like Soft Cell and Depeche Mode, and with even a bit of Tears for Fears. However on Jewel the band are a bit more light hearted than their necromantic contemporaries.
Hayo Lewerentz and Ingo Hauss are experienced songwriters and this brightly shines through the music and like technology their capacity to write good music has only became more refined. However this comes at the price of the music sounding far too tame where the controlled voltage oscillating through the speakers loses some excitement from the unpredictability of white noise. Leaving the architecture of the album a clinical environment.
The sober production of Jewel creates a strange contrast to the soft, human err of emotion that vocalist James Knight conveys. A juxtaposition that is both fitting for the societal situations of today and a reflection of what was expected of the future in the ’80’s. Of course there are exceptions to this and the album really begins to heat up midway with title track Jewel.
Holistically this is a very tight album that suffers from conforming to industry limitations.