Hot Hot Heat

Hot Hot Heat

Happiness Ltd


The sizzling Canadian foursome have gone poptastic with their fifth studio album, which zips along

at such a bright and breezy pace, you'll be falling over yourself to keep up.

Happiness Ltd was written during different stops on Hot Hot Heat's world tour to support their 2005 major label debut Elevator. The tour took in Australia, Japan, Spain and Britain, yet the result is a thoroughly cohesive album that hints at the band's indie origins, but delightedly opts more for strings and big ballads than the synth noise of their beginnings.

The title track and opener forms the basis of the album as it charts that old chestnut of popular music, the pain and delight of falling in and out of love.

Outta Heart manages to be a catchy singalong pop song while packing in a full orchestra, theremin and a load of female backing singers lending support to frontman Steve Bays' falsetto.

My Best Friend laments the loss of youth with a chanting drive, while Give Up has the stadium favourite of a call-and-response chorus.

The busyness that pervades the album doesn't always work, a complaint that is at its most distracting on Harmonicas & Tambourines, in which four drum kits are bashed simultaneously, to create a frenetic din. But you tend to forgive Hot Hot Heat the indiscretion.

In general, the lush compositions and mismatch of production credits - including Tim Palmer, who worked wonders for David Bowie and U2, and Rob Cavallo, who brought success for Green Day and My Chemical Romance - has produced a high-spirited album that is easily their best to date.