The Rakes new album sounds like it was recorded with the same instruments and amplification as Bloc Party, but happier, like Franz Ferdinand. At least, you feel this in the mood of the songs and in their lyrics.
The Rakes plays listen-able, dance-able rock. It's a great addition to your MP3 player. But it's rock with enough energy guitar too, with an important amount of the new 'classical riff guitar' that plays only quavers (were The Strokes the first?).
Another characteristic of their music is a singer with a mature voice that sometimes sings tired and some sound effects that appears in a couple of songs. The female voice in “Suspicious Eyes” gives more texture to the short disc of forty minutes long. The conversations over the melodies are a good trick, better than the typical voice-over.
Ten New Messages has entertainment as its vocation. This is very different in comparison with other new British bands with similar sounds who cannot liberate themselves from the melancholic and their dark vision of life. Maybe The Rakes have the same view (in fact “Down with Moonlight” sound like a Placebo song) but you can see that they had fun recording this LP. The Beatlesque melodies are a case in point.
The opening track raises your expectations. “The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect” is a funny song that reminds you of Tony Blair's cynical smile as he said everything is OK in Iraq, but it's really talking about the simpler things in your life, like how many times you accept your bad fate (“sometimes troubles finds you no matter what you are”) just hold on waiting quietly for your lucky day.
The expectation is met with the single “We dance together” and other highlights like “Trouble” and “When Tom Cruise Cries” that talks about cynical friends too, quoting the film Magnolia (a honorable mention to the sample of an interference produced by a cellular phone being too near to a radio).
The quietest song “Leave the City and Come Home” was the best option to close the LP, which makes you to play the album again.