Thursday, December 31, 2009

Albums of the Year, 2009 : 10 - Telepathe - Dance Mother

"'s doubtful anyone could have anticipated anything as wonderfully poppy and accessible as the material on Telepathe's sublime debut Dance Mother, especially for those who were already familiar with the girls in their earlier incarnation as purveyors of the dark and dense drone sounds that dominated their Farewell Forest release. Of course, with TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek on board as producer, this isn't pop as we know it, rather it's an avant-garde distillation, twisted and transformed into something genuinely exciting and pleasantly challenging but which thankfully never veers into the impenetrable.

Fans may already be familiar with the slow-build codeine balladry of "I Can't Stand It," and the endearingly naïve future-funk of "Chrome's on It," both slightly spruced up here, but with their new material the girls have unexpectedly managed to trump those songs that already garnered them so much attention, coming up with songs that possess the kind of expansive thoughtfulness that eludes so much of the dance genre: "The Devils Trident" builds on a mystifying incantation of intriguingly obtuse stream-of-conscious words and crescendos, with the girls' united voices seemingly rising as if to battle the brass that unobtrusively elevates the song into a thing of transcendental wonder; "Lights Go Down" is a tense, skittering gem that rides on an arching synth line possessed of a strangely regal malevolence; while "So Fine," with it's propulsive electro beat, swooning vocals, and devastatingly simple melody, should become one of the year's defining songs."

- Robin Carolan, Slant Magazine

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