The latest project from A.G. Cook’s stable of cyber electro-pop chemists is endearingly self-aware. Cook and co. know that PC Music built its fan base around their marriage of pop hooks, rubbery synths, and beguiling female vocals, and Vol. 2 offers up an uncut dose of exactly that, with a few intriguing variations along the way.
The PC Music crew is well represented across the ten tracks, with Hannah Diamond, Danny L Harle, felicita, Cook and more all offer their own take on the group's slinky, house-fueled sound. Few collectives offer as unified of a vision as these producers, and while that could get monotonous over a longer run time PC Music understand that their tunes are best consumed in short, feverous bursts.
"Super Natural", Harle's collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen, is campy fun, and Jepsen's soaring vocals are an intriguing spin on the usual PC Music vocalists, whose voices are often metallicized to match the track's industrial soundscape.
Still, there are some moments here where the group tweaks their formula, largely with positive results. Diamond's "Hi" maps a sugary synth melody to the lead vocals, giving the whole proceeding a youthful glow. It's a relatively restrained track compared to much of the rest of Vol. 2, and it cements the fact that the PC Music wheelhouse is far larger than just chrome-painted dance pop.
The album closes with Life Sim's largely instrumental "I.D.L.", a more abstract composition filled with rich textures and subtly chopped vocals. It's another fresh take on what we've come to identify with the London outfit.
Vol. 2 probably won't win PC Music many new fans or converts, but it'll satiate die hards and offer those who listen closely just enough deviation from a successful formula.