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Romy, 'Mid Air'


Mid Air (Remote Control)

HERE’S TO EUPHORIA and pleasure, even in pain. The sheer joy of living and being and having, and yes, the joys of wanting and hurting for the want.

Not chemically-enhanced – though this album with its feet moving all over the dancefloor, its low peaks taken past high peaks and on to other peaks, would be a great soundtrack to such an experience – but naturally occurring. And re-occurring. In company. Special company.

Mid Air is a record that is in love and in love with being in love. And in lust. Definitely in lust. Even when regrets arrive, where the things once left unsaid that now could be shouted are recalled, where Romy Madley Croft’s natural vocal setting of leaning low and forlorn might suggest otherwise, they come wrapped in the rise and rise and pulse-in-the-neck-throbbing of what should be.

The album begins with Romy gliding blissfully into the club, (“Dance with me shoulder to shoulder/Never in the world have two others been closer than us”), with what some might see as uncertainty revealed as anything but (“Hold my hand under the table/It’s not that I’m not proud in the company of strangers/It’s just some things are for us”) and in fact comes with a vow that if anyone asks she would happily declare this truth (“Lover, I love her, Lover, I love her”).

The album ends with the uncertainty of a love not yet broached (“She’s on my mind but I wish she was under me/There’s a space in between us and I don’t know how to reach”) and again a question of what is seen/shown (“And I don’t want to hide it, even if it hurts/I don’t care anymore/think I’m in love with her”), before a declaration long desired (“I guess she’s saying good night/But she says, I’m so tired of fighting/I’m so scared to lose/But I don’t care anymore, think I’m in love with you”).

In between these posts come variations of she loves me/she loves me not and I can’t believe this is happening to me/why won’t this happen to me. Romy falls in love by the sea (“she had her wings of desire around me”) but must leave it behind; and hopes for a second chance with someone years later (“Pull back the covers, let me feel the warmth of your skin/We’re still undiscovered, but I feel you sinking in”). She tells a lover there is no need to be strong for everyone else all the time (“Let me be someone you can lean on”) and regrets something that burned too hard and destroyed (“Now the damage is done, can we call that love?”).

And through it all there’s a sense of frankness and openness even within what might in other hands be generic circumstances, a depth of feeling that belies assumptions of movement as an antidote to thinking, so that it is the personal that raises it all.

Well, the personal and the fact that this is a set of songs given over to turn-of-the-century clubland where no one thinks to look outside, let alone leave. Where Twice promises salvation with every salutation, tapping pleasure with each elevation, and we buy in.

One Last Try blends pop and House in a steady incline while The Sea offers to lose you in the trance. Did I roboticises like some Italian producer aiming for a 2am slot and Weightless floats for its first minute before machine and heartbeat begin to meld, and then in its third minute locks you in with eyes closed and arms opened.

Best of all, Loveher feels all-encompassing in its wraparound limbs and thick sounds, the title track pulls everything away to near emptiness just so the House-on-boosters of Enjoy Your Life can flood in and lift you higher, and Strong is the insistent driver navigating your body around and occasionally through any barriers, its keyboard stabs punching like brass.

Romy is feeling it. As are we. So, here’s to euphoria, may there be a lot more of it.


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