A genuinely sunny and uplifting electronic pop album. Right from the first track "Not a Number", its bubbling xylophone rhythm offset against slinky strings, German producer Sascha Ring marks himself out as having a bit more musical flair than your standard bleepy popster. Throughout, pretty instrumentals are lavished with melody and colour, peaking with "Fractales" (which I'm not sure why is split into two tracks - part II is essentially a beatless extended closing section to the first part). These are mixed with casual poppier numbers ("Hailin from the Edge" and "Holdon"), cowritten with their singer Raz Ohara, unexpectedly R&B-leaning but fitting in quite well. The soaring falsetto vocal of "Arcadia", strikingly like Thom Yorke, inspires comparison to a sunnier Radiohead. Though while Apparat's electronic pop is more accessible, there's still musical muscle here. A more individual album highlight is "Birds", whose delicious chorus "one single spark ignites - into new life" is countered by a silken string tune over skittering synths. Pervadingly upbeat, the album's only intrusion of angst comes in "Over and Over", whose vocal, echoed as through opposing mirrors, cleverly fits the song's introspective theme.
June 27, 2008
See blog entry: Crisp dance-pop for the summer (28 Jun, 2008)