james debate
james debate

Thursday 26 March 2009

Genre Electronic
Label EMI
Producer Luke Steele, Nick Littlemore, Peter Mayes
Release date(s) 16th February 2009 (UK)

OO excitement. Here comes another one of my hotly tipped properties for 2009. So far it has been a mixed bag, with the White Lies album being incredibly mediocre and disappointing, Revolutionary Road which was 'just ok', and Watchmen which was pretty awesome, if flawed.

So now let's hope that the Aussie electro-rockers Empire of the Sun can deliver, otherwise my 'nostradamus' rating for this year is going to go down the tubes.

The first thing you notice about this album is the incredibly camp and over the top artwork and promotion, like something out of Star Wars. And I say that as a positive thing because I quite like it, it's the good kind of camp. However call me old fashioned but I'm still of the school of thought that one should judge a band by music alone and looks come second, and as such I am innately skeptical when presented with such a show as more often than not artists use showiness as a method of covering up a lack of talent.

However, that is not the case here, and in fact the superficiality of the album art works well as it goes very well with the music. The album presents a concept new world order of peace and hedonism, where pleasure is the main goal of life. For the sound, imagine a fine disco tune, 'sci-fied' up a little bit and then topped with sunshiny choruses.

It works well, even if it does feel a bit exploitative in the wake of the success of MGMT last year to just replicate the phenomenon with a similar type of album. The problem is that while a handful of songs are pretty good, like We are the People and Standing on the Shore, or excellent, like Country and Walking on a Dream, the rest are pretty forgettable. So while this is a pretty decent album, it is no more than that, and definitely not as good as MGMT, for those of you who wish to compare the two (personally I don't 'do' that sort of thing).

This is definitely worth a listen, better than the majority of music that has been released this year.

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