Album Reviews

Confidence Man – Tilt

(Heavenly) UK release date: 1 April 2022

This Melbourne outfit’s music offers more than a semblance of hope in difficult times; throwing caution to the wind, they leave us dancing until our legs can take no more

Confidence Man - Tilt Think less, do more. This is the punchy philosophy of Melbourne quartet Confidence Man, and courses through the music on their second album. In it, they look to bring us out of lockdown lethargy and lead us firmly onto the dancefloor.

Building on the success of their debut, Confident Music For Confident People, the band is joined by prolific songwriter and former New Radicals front man Gregg Alexander, Simon Camody and Andy Barlow. This formidable backroom team are overseen by producer Ewan Pearson, and they bring an extra pop sensibility to the band, along with a healthy dose of ’90s nostalgia. This is thrown into the mix with wanton abandon, like an overgenerous dash of chilli sauce.

Positive energy courses through Tilt. The album gets off to a flyer with Woman, a statement of intent and identity, and Feels Like A Different Thing, one of several communal roof raisers. These upfront vibes are complemented by the ska flavours of What I Like. The feeling for the listener is that of stepping into a long-overdue party, with no pleasantries at the door and just a full on blast of positive music.

The punches keep coming, too. Toy Boy is brilliant, punctuated by piano as it asks, “All my people, where you at?” through Janet Planet’s smart, sassy vocals. Push It Up is a catchy anthem, staying in the mind for a long time after it passes. So too the closing Relieve The Pressure, another party starter. The music unerringly hits the sweet spot between disco and house, looking back at past glories but also revelling in a new found freedom.

Tilt is also notable for its no-nonsense attitude, especially when Janet Planet is at the microphone. “What’s your problem?!” she yelps during Angry Girl, a song which may well divide loyalties with its piercing tones. More effective is the “treat me like a woman” wish of Woman, setting the tone for the floor-friendly lyrics the band use throughout the album.

The hyperactive tone dips a little after the first three tracks, though the centrally placed fillers still have a clear function. Their funk is more subtle, the piano-led good vibes continuing to work their charm. This is the album equivalent of leaving the crowded dancefloor for a drink, but as with all the good club nights it is not long before you return for another set of anthems. In this case it is the likes of Holiday, an excellent mid-tempo groover with a catchy strap line.

In their second album Confidence Man provide us with the feel good music we desperately need right now, taking the weight from our shoulders and offering more than a semblance of hope in difficult times. Throwing caution to the wind, they go back to basics, leaving us dancing until our legs can take no more. Think less, do more indeed.

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Confidence Man – Tilt