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Empire Of The Sun

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    Empire Of The Sun

    walking on a dream

    Walking On A Dream ( 2008 )
    Standing On The Shore / A Dream / Half Mast / We Are The People / Delta Bay / Country / The World / Swordfish Hot Kiss Nite / Tiger By My Side / Without You

    An Australian electro duo who dress like idiots, use vintage 80s synths and production techniques and wind up sounding, well, pretty great, actually. Every fibre of my body suggests I shouldn't like this, yet one former member of Sleepy Jackson and one former member of Pnau have come together to create something better than their individual pedigree's would suggest. I mean, they look absolutely ridiculous with their 80s hair and dashings of make-up. That alone seems to have been enough to put many a reviewer off which is a little unfair (of many a reviewer) I feel. Empire Of The Sun you see have used so many 80s ingredients that they just had to go the whole hog. A British act would have been too self-concious, which is why Empire Of The Sun's take on 80s pop is so refreshing. Front loading the album? Check. Obligatory romantic ballad? Check. Dazzingly pop songs? Well, check and mate. Sure, the vocals are no Morten Harkett of A-Ha and sure, Empire Of The Sun are unlikely to have Prince knocking on their door - just begging to cover 'Without You' on his next LP, but there is something undeniably warming about such a blatant knock off of a particular style of 80s music many had forced themselves to forget about.

    Opener 'Standing On The Shore' is sheer class, the synths forcing these guys to write simple melodies and wrap them in sunshine harmonies, 'do, do, do' backing and more besides. 'Walking On A Dream' is another would be summer smash hit single, a bouncy melody and suitably vague yet incredibly simple lyrics. Same thing applies to song three, 'Half Mast' which also deserves to be a hit in some sun drenched major city in the summertime. So, no surprises then that 'We Are The People' also sounds like a potential single? Well, not really no. This is the kind of front-loading 80s albums were famous for. 'Delta Bay' therefore is slightly experimental in a Mercury Rev go electro kind of way, 'Country' is a pretty yet fairly pointless instrumental and 'The World' is just one long drag. The album picks up again with 'Swordfish Hotkiss Night' and the epic closing ballad 'Tonight' and now i've got to summarise something. That's pretty hard with 'Empire Of The Sun', because however enjoyable the majority of this album is, there remains a nagging suspicious 'so what?' spinning around my brain.

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    this page last updated 08/03/09

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