Every Metronomy album has seemingly been made with a distinctly different influence in mind. Nights Out fashioned dance punk and electropop in the wake of LCD Soundsystem, while The English Riviera funnelled yacht rock and AOR into one of the brightest British indie pop albums in recent years. Love Letters saw bandleader and lead songwriter Joe Mount flirt with Motown, and Summer 08 had a similar fondness for sheened Eighties pop and disco. Finding that dominant singular influence for Metronomy Forever, however, is a trickier and ultimately flawed task.

Pronounced synth pop and new wave have underlain each of Metronomy’s stylistic turns and, in that regard, Forever is no different – it just works within a far greater breadth of stylistic variety than any previous Metronomy record. The singles alone swing from glitzy nu-disco (‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream’) to haunted, propulsive indietronic post punk (‘Lately’) and hypnogogic pop (‘Walking in the Dark’). The rest of the record sees tracks indebted to lounge, funk and alternative dance rub shoulders with potentially-conceptual mood pieces, combining many of Metronomy’s previous styles into a singular package.

And it can all feel rather disorientating and scattered; like an album made for the streaming age, to be cut-and-shut into playlists rather than heard as a whole. Joe Mount’s insistence that Forever intends to recreate the experience of listening to the radio seems a fitting explanation for its lack of overall cohesion. That loose concept, however, doesn’t deny that each track on here could, in theory, have exactly the same impact as if it were among songs by entirely different artists. Metronomy Forever as a concept is hardly as eclectic and well-executed as something like, for example, the similarly radio-flicking-sounding ‘Fingertips’ suite on They Might Be Giants’ Apollo 18. Every track on Forever is too complete, to the extent the record feels more like an unfocused collection of pop songs than an album.

Yet, as disconnected as much of Forever may seem, Metronomy’s stylistic dexterity undeniably pedestals Mount’s impressive songwriting talent. The hook-ridden structures of ‘Lately’ and ‘Upset My Girlfriend’ might seem simple, but they’re still impactful and, overall, there are quite a few tracks here that vastly overshadow most of the past two Metronomy records. Mount’s songwriting pivots from style to style and mood to mood and yet still thrives, fashioning some great tunes.

After five records of patently soaking up influences, Forever doesn’t show Metronomy having found their own distinct voice or settling on a single style. To some extent, that’s a good thing - it’s arguably what has kept them exciting and brought them to such a wide audience. Any Metronomy or indie pop fan will almost certainly find something to enjoy over the course of Forever’s seventeen tracks, yet the album also feels destined to be only heard in small doses. Ultimately, its multitude of genres are too varied, unfocused and perplexing to be enjoyed as much as past Metronomy albums, and Forever is instead more likely to be appreciated for its individual highlights than overall concept.