Head here to submit your own review of this album.

Poor Röyksopp. 2001's Melody A.M. was one of those albums that so defines a band's career that every time a new release comes around, a kind of collective amnesia sets in. 'Gosh, Röyksopp - they haven't done anything for ages, have they? What do you mean, fifth studio album..?'

Suffering the same fate as Moby's inescapable Play, Melody A.M. was so successful, so catchy and so comprehensively plundered by ad agencies that for a while in the early noughties it was impossible to turn on a TV / laptop / phone / toaster without hearing 'So Easy', 'Poor Leno' or that bleepy one that sounds like a shepherd having a nervous breakdown. Ubiquitous though it was, Melody A.M. was also an excellent record - tuneful (as the title would suggest), refreshing and a fine figurehead for the burgeoning Scandinavian electronica scene. It took a while for a follow-up, 2005's The Understanding, to emerge, and although it found favour with the critics, it didn't quite catch on with the public, who were clearly after more of the same.

That was a shame, because in the intervening ten years Röyksopp have frequently transcended the cosy whirrings of their debut in favour of a more collaborative, song-based sound - most notably on the wonderful 'What Else Is There?' featuring Karin Dreijer Andersson of The Knife. 2009's eminently danceable Junior was followed up the next year by the more downtempo Senior, neither of which made a particular dent in the public conscious, in the UK at least (the straight-ahead dancefloor direction has made them bona fide superstars in the rest of Europe). Earlier this year Do It Again, a mini-album with fellow Scandi-star Robyn, was snuck out and met with widespread approval.

All of which brings us to The Inevitable End, the duo's fifth and reportedly final album before they begin releasing music in other formats. And what a strange beast it is. It starts promisingly enough with the vocodered menace of 'Skulls' before moving on to the perfectly serviceable Robyn collaboration 'Monument', a reworking of the track from Do It Again. It's bracing enough and seems to point to a slightly tougher sound than we have come to expect from Röyksopp.

Unfortunately from there things stagnate. 'Sordid Affair', whilst undoubtedly pretty, serves to slow the cracking pace, then 'You Know I Have To Go' (the first of four collaborations with Jamie McDermott of The Irrepressibles) snuffs it out completely. Aiming for a skeletal James Blake-esque building of tension, it misses the mark and instead becomes a full eight minutes of very little happening at all. The second half of the album continues in this way, jerking between dancefloor and ambient room in a way that suggests they have already given up on the LP format. And their choice of sounds throughout is curiously dated, often sounding like the incidental music from a videogame (I swear I repeatedly snowboarded down a virtual mountain in 1998 to 'Save Me').

Too many tracks on The Inevitable End pass by in a mid-tempo haze, and by the time the overlong closer 'Thank You' rolls around, Röyksopp have travelled about as far from their early singles as they could have done. Unfortunately, it is in the wrong direction. There are lovely moments on this album, but often they are repeated far too many times and for far too long; it's a fatal mishandling of what could be a lithe and catchy collection of electro-pop. As it is, The Inevitable End represents an odd farewell from a band who never truly delivered on their potential. Perhaps freeing themselves from the album format will allow their sound to flourish once again.

This is the place you'll find reviews from 405 Readers. To join in, head here.