December 1, 2021

Robbing Millions – ‘Holidays Inside’ – “Perfect pop miniatures”

MGMT RECORDS     25th June 2021

There doesn’t seem to be much information around on Robbing Millions apart from it being a project of Belgian, Lucien Fraipont. It’s his second album and, apart from him being a trained jazz guitarist, that’s it. What I do know is it is fun. Lots of clever pop and, with eighteen tunes over the album, nothing outstays its welcome.

It is bubbly and pure with rushing synth bass and sweet mini-melodies These short confections have impressive playing and I’m reminded of Stevie Moore’s prog-pop pieces. Try ‘Overdry’ for an example. I also hear Eighties Prince in the tightness of the sound as well as Thundercat in the short funky bass figures. In some ways, it is like The Residents’ Commercial Album: The songs are over a minute long but many of the melodies are unexpected and seem both slightly off-kilter and yet familiar. On ‘Have Tea’ I’m convinced I can hear Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. If it’s not him, it’s very close. Chewie Chewie is pure crazy and Back is perfect soul-pop, while Dutch Sauna is thoughtfully introspective and Wild is gently nostalgic. That is just a random run of four songs. There are fourteen more and they all have a shiny pop-gem glitter to them.

The combination of surprising tunes, shiny gloss finish, speedy burble and aspects of pure pop make this an attention grabber and a grower.