Leighton Antelman (frontman of Lydia) and Matt Malpass (producer) began The Cinema as a side project, but after the success of their debut album, My Blood Is Full Of Airplanes, in 2011, got back to work on a new release. Their sophomore album, Talking In Your Sleep, has been two years in the making; an effort of note for the bi-coastal electro-indie pop-rock duo.
“Call It In The Air” starts the album off powerfully, with a unique style to it that utilizes electro beats, fusing them with indie-rock vocals and lyrics. It contains the perfect amount of energy and an upbeat tone that amps listeners up, as it has been doing since its release as a single. There is a hope that collects in between the lines; a hope that everything is going to turn out fine.
Like a breath of fresh air, “Turn It On” blends multiple genres together, seamlessly transitioning into a piano-driven anthem. With an irresistible melodic tone, the track, featuring Aaron Marsh of Copeland, stands out as an entrancing masterpiece that shines on the album. Similarly, the title track, “Talking In Your Sleep,” manages to fuse genres, with a pleasing overall sound, but it’s the beats and vocal distortion that truly stands out.
“Crazy” has a top-40 quality, beat-driven edge that seems to draw more from the electro-pop aspect of The Cinema’s sound, although it is difficult to pin the duo to just one genre (see “Dancing Round Me”). This is the song that makes you want to dance around the house, or rock out in the kitchen while you’re doing a completely mundane task. In many ways, it’s a love song; it’s letting the other person know, “Yeah, you’re nuts, but so am I, so it’s all good.” I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t play this on repeat. “She Knows” follows perfectly, almost like a continuation of the love story. The electro-pop sound adds a whimsical feel to the overall track, which plays into the indie-rock undertones beautifully.
With a bittersweet edge, “Ghost” is easily one of my favorite tracks from Talking In Your Sleep. The raw power and emotion behind each line adds to the impact of this break-up anthem. Love and loss are often approached in music, but The Cinema manage to do it in a way that is fresh; it doesn’t sound like the same old story. It’s the poetic deterioration of a relationship between two people who may have once thought they were the right fit for one another. Arguably, it’s a partner who has been built up to be the savior, the rock, for the other person in the relationship, and they can’t live up to it.
“Punchline” is another stand-out, with a guest vocal from Mindy White (States), whose harmonies are reminiscent of Lily Allen, and add a flawless finishing touch that makes the song single-worthy. Everything about this song is perfection. The utilization of the dance/electro-pop instrumentality with the cheeky duet sound of the vocals presents a character and charm to the track that can be seen on tracks like “Weekend.”
Finishing off the album with as much power as it began, “Going Down” is a piano-driven tune that makes it clear that The Cinema’s entire sophomore release is worthy of attention. It steps back from the more dance/electronic-oriented quality that had become so familiar, but still maintains a consistency that compliments the rest of the album with a poise that could only be compared to a gymnast sticking the landing.
One thing that seems to striking about Talking In Your Sleep is the cleverness in the lines that seem to be weaved from poetic tones and metaphors. Usually, sophomore albums are hit or miss, even more so when they’re fusing multiple styles together. However, the two years of hard work and dedication put into this album are evident, although The Cinema do make it seem almost effortless with an album that the perfect way to cap off a year of quality releases.