Als Appetithappen das Video zu "Berlin Lovers" und einige wohlwollende Kritiken:
Aforementioned opener “The Trip” sets things in motion, commencing with a spacey noodling that soon transitions into a smooth synth line. A strumming acoustic guitar and a chiming electric guitar line soon join the mix. At around the two-minute mark, Murray finally makes her dramatic entrance, proceeding to elaborate on titular “trip” that “keeps us alive” with all the wistful reflection of an old-school country singer.
For the most part, the rest of the album continues in this vein, with tracks like “I Can’t Sleep” and title track/album closer “Strange Pleasures” boasting the kind of mesmerizing dream pop just begging to be included in the next Sofia Coppola film. When the band does try to break away from this mold, as in the case of the MGMT-like “Future Age,” the effect feels a tad disingenuous and off-putting.
Despite its reserved nature, if the album has anything approaching earworm singles, it’s “Berlin Lovers” and “Beatcity.” Augmented by a dirty synth hook courtesy of Hughes, “Berlin Lovers” sees Murray bemoaning the naivety of young lovers “eaten by desire” before repeatedly sighing “so young” in a mid-song breakdown that’s almost prayer-like in its intense repetition. “Beatcity,” meanwhile, finds the singer cooing about a lost love that she “hasn’t seen for some time” over a propelling electro beat that only grows more powerful as Murray’s voice becomes more and more mournful.
Like Creatures of an Hour, Strange Pleasures is a piece of great beauty—albeit, one that’s not for every occasion. If heard at the right time and place, however, it‘s the kind of work that can worm its way into your memory bank and haunt you long after the sounds have faded.
The back half of the album falls into the more introspective territory covered by the band's first full-length. But while it touches on the same adjectives (see: haunting, ghostly, moody, autumnal), when taken as a whole, this is no mere retread. Both pace and ambition is increased. No longer relegated to accent status for Hughes' early morning-evoking compositions, Murray's vocals are placed at the front of the mix. She sounds not unlike a 1960s pop princess auditioning for Cocteau Twins—an ethereal and dangerous femme fatal. Hughes supports his leading lady, creating songs that sound like the vision of a child of the '80s, filtered through Broadcast's moody cinematic palette. It's a tone that rivals M83 in sheer nostalgic power. "Fireflies" in particular is an ice-cool, twinkling ballad—a prime example of the band at their most unabashedly romantic. (We shall now pause to imagine an alternate dimension Pretty in Pink where Duckie gets the girl and the couple dances to the song under a spinning disco ball.) The pair dips even further into straight-up electro pop territory with "Berlin Lovers," pairing a New Order-style beat with Murray's echoed query, "See the stars are out tonight." Largely eschewing acoustic guitars (save for "Going Back to Strange"), Strange Pleasures is a testament to the full-range of synths, turning what could easily become an exercise in sterility into a multi-faceted pop gem.