Just a couple of songs in and it becomes clear that the meter on Autogramm’s third album tilts heavily towards new wave, ’80s revivalism, and irresistible feel-good tunes. Autogramm brought in Lars Swenson (Catheters, Bread & Butter) as an additional member during the making of Music That Humans Can Play – a record born in the heatwave of 2022. They sound rock-solid, tight and inspired as a four-piece, and ’80s synths and majestic hooks go hand in hand on the new LP.
Everything sounds big and crisp. Whether by chance or deliberate intent, Autogramm has crafted a record that could easily have dominated the charts four decades ago, offering an impressive array of potential singles. Born Loser (with MTV-ready video), Mapee (Don’t Screw Up), Hey Allie and Love Is For Fools all are candidates, while the upbeat Plastic Punks and Westbound are personal favorites.
I can’t help but perceive the title as a commentary on the threat posed by A.I. The authentic ’80s vibe and songwriting on Music That Humans Can Play is so striking, it prompts the question: Could artificial intelligence truly craft something of this caliber if fed prompts from the defining bands of the power pop and new wave era? I doubt it. The album resonates so profoundly human, it is a confident challenge of the capabilities of A.I. by a band in absolute top form.
Music That Humans Can Play is out now on Stomp Records and Beluga Records. Stoked that this band is touring Europe next Spring!