- The project's third LP makes us ask: is it time for something new?
- My feelings towards Floorplan, the father-daughter duo of Robert and Lyric Hood, sit in a strange grey area between wonder and fatigue. On the one hand, I marvel at their unique, powerful sound and remarkable hit rate. Is there a house and techno act releasing bangers with greater consistency? At the same time, perhaps due to overexposure to modern classics such as "Never Grow Old" and "Tell You No Lie," I also find the prospect of a third Floorplan album unexciting. Two LPs of roaring, gospel-referencing tracks feels like plenty. Isn't it time for something new?
Supernatural, released via Will Saul's Aus Music label, doesn't offer novelty. But—and here's the dilemma—it's still a solid record, packed full of catchy, feel-good bombs built to rock huge crowds. There are no duds, which means Floorplan fans content with more of the same should be satisfied, even if the new LP doesn't scale the dizzying heights of 2016's Victorious and the 2013 debut, Paradise. Maybe that's the problem. If you're going to release ten more tracks in a similar mould, they should at least be better than what's come before.
Nothing on Supernatural stirs the soul quite like "Baby, Baby" or "The Heavens & The Earth," but a couple of tracks come close. My favourite, "Brothers + Sisters," is a piano anthem kept classy with sound design reminiscent of '90s US house. "Song Like This," powered by a cheery soul sample, is a nice, skippy roller. "His Eye Is On The Sparrow," featuring the singer Carol Otis, is probably the first club version of the 1905 gospel hymn of the same name, which over the years has been covered by Marvin Gaye, Lauryn Hill and Jessica Simpson. Funky and rousing with wicked sax licks, it's this album's "Never Grow Old," but not as good.
Too many tracks on Supernatural have a Floorplan-by-numbers feel. The programming and sound design on "Dance Floor," "Oasis," "Fiyaaa!" and "I Try" are bold and rich enough that they would tear up most mega-raves, but they're lacking the rawness and spark of, say, "Mmm Hmm Hmm" from Victorious. Three albums in, Floorplan's sonic world has become too familiar, too predictable—with one notable exception. "Co Co," a slice of swung house with a juicy bassline, is bright and hectic, jammed with zesty melodies that bounce off each other with playful ease. It shines because, unlike the rest of the LP, it sounds fresh.
01. There Was A Time
02. Dance Floor
05. Brothers & Sisters
06. His Eye Is On The Sparrow feat. Carol Otis
07. Co Co
08. Song Like This!
09. I Try
10. Generations From Now