Thursday, January 28, 2010

LINDSTROM & CHRISTABELLE/Real Life Is No Cool CD review



If you think that Electronic music is lifeless, cold and in no way sexy, then you are sorely mistaken, pal! While some Electronic music is purposely created that way, artists have been re-shaping electro-based music for decades. 

While the glorious Kraftwerk purposely created distant and emotionless Europop in their early years, they started loosening up in the early '80s and let the sunshine in (if only a few rays at a time). But once the late '70s and early '80s hit, everyone with a keyboard began creating music. 

Some artists were happy and bubbly (early Depeche Mode, Human League, Yazoo) while others took it to the darker end of the spectrum (Soft Cell, later Depeche Mode). Even R&B and Rap acts began to use electronic music to enhance their groove-based recordings! 

Now, some 30 years after the Synth wave first washed over the charts, Norwegian Electronic pioneer Lindstrom has teamed up with vocalist Christabelle (AKA Solale) to create this splendid Disco-Pop platter. If you've heard Lindstrom in the past, you know to expect the unexpected.  With Real Life Is No Cool, he and Christabelle have created a unique album that manages to squeeze in so many influences, and so much originality, that it sets the Electro-Pop bar one notch higher than anything Lindstrom has released before.

Real Life Is No Cool is an edgy Pop album of structured chaos and hypnotic beats. It embraces the light AND the dark while remaining cool (not cold), calm and collected. And it is very very sexy!

Lindstrom provided the structure while Christabelle was able to let loose and improvise most of the lyrics on the spot while they jammed. Their union is more Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer than Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, but therein lies the charm: it's danceable but also perfect for a warm snuggle after a few glasses of wine.

The album opens with the reversed vocals of Christabelle, sounding like a possessed schoolchild, but 45 seconds in, things begin to come together as a steady groove takes hold and Christabelle's possessed child voice tranforms her into a lolita. "Lovesick" is where the album starts to take hold, setting the unpredictable but loveable tone for the rest of the album. 

While the songs are not mainstream Pop, there are a few gems here that could really take hold and bring this album out of the underground and straight into the charts.  "Baby Can't Stop" has a funktastic groove that is straight out of Ray Parker Jr.'s songbook... that is, if he collaborated with Nico. "Let's Practice" sounds a bit closer to the Moroder/Summer influence as mentioned before. "High And Low" is the duo's sexiest track, incorporating a strong laid back R&B groove and a hauntingly pretty melody.

Real Life Is No Cool is just about the sexiest left-field Electronic album you're bound to hear this year. So turn down the sheets, light some candles and spend a little time with Lindstrom & Christabelle!





You're Welcome,
Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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