Architecture in Helsinki went for a different mood on their third studio album, and you can hear it from the moment Cameron Bird starts spitting lyrics (rather than singing them in his usual sweet, wavering falsetto) on the cowbell-driven banger "Red Turned White." The Australian twee-poppers have grown a little less adorable, but they're also a lot more fun.
2005's In Case We Die theatrically wandered, like an epic saga performed on a children's stage. The instrumentation was grand-scale — as if the teacher had insisted that everyone get a chance to play the trumpet and harp and violin. It sure was fun, but it's tough to call yourself a rock band when your highest decibel levels are reserved for the Sesame Street shout-along of "It's 5!"
With Places Like This, Architecture radiates a block party vibe — their songs are both less complicated and a little more wild. They've even tossed their usual strings and instead funk things up with steel drums and congas, sounding as if they've taken their dancefloor cues from Talking Heads and the B-52's. (Bird and the band's female members even conjure a decent Fred Schneider-and-the girls impression for the "hey-ya-ya" refrains on "Hold Music.") That's a pretty good way to get people to stop calling you precious and start shaking their stuff.