Karl Wallinger defined the ornate, Beatlesque World Party sound on their debut Private Revolution,
and he never strayed from that blueprint over the next decade, even if
he augmented it with other '60s and '70s pop flourishes.
Egyptology finds Wallinger at his most conservative, sticking to the basic late-'60s pop and psychedelia that distinguished Private Revolution and Goodbye Jumbo.
As always, his production is tasteful and subtle, revealing new layers
of sonic detail on each listen, and his songcraft is sturdy and tuneful,
if not remarkable.
Few of the songs jump out upon the first few
listens, yet there are no weak moments on the record, which makes Egyptology, of all things, a workmanlike release. It's not flashy or extravagant, and it may not have the inspiration of Goodbye Jumbo,
but it does deliver a collection of fine pop tunes without pretension,
and that alone makes it a better album than the overly ambitious Bang!.