Michele Ducci and Degli Angiolo have returned as M+A, and this Italian duo are showing off their love of pop and soul with their new one, These Days (Monotreme). The simplicity I had heard on their Things. yes album (my review of which can be read by clicking here)? Still very much there and in fact, keeping things simple are one of the group’s finer qualities. Some of what I hear on this album, at least the first half, shine the light on some of Beck’s and 10cc’s pop tendencies, or what happens when your humorless music gives you your biggest hits. It’s not bad, what M+A do is quite polished but because of their craft for pop, the taps that they’re bringing into their songs sound pointless and out of place, the only part of their songs that are weak compared to what they excel at.
If you don’t give the entire album a shot, you may mix what they excel at, and that is make some great songs that measure up to some of the big names in pop, pop/soul, and soul today. The second half sheds some of the comedic moments and has the guys getting very serious and down to Earth, as if they were creating the last soundtrack to be ever heard at a club. Because of this, These Days is nicely balanced but don’t let the quirks of the first half through you off. It can be funny, but that only helps to pave the way for the fun that happens on the second half. I can see this album being a slow burner for some, but if you’re open to what they offer here, this is going to be a nice experience.