13 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rather than cash in on the ‘90s revival, Stereo MC’s’ ninth studio album finds the British dance-pop veterans looking back a bit further to the sonic textures of their mid-‘80s foundation. Following the dramatic, synth-ridden soundscape of the opening intro “Wooden Heart,” Jamie Cullum cameos on “Boy,” a wonderful throwback to ‘80s electropop that recalls Pet Shop Boys, OMD and Erasure. “Phase Me” follows suit with a funkier bass line and Rob Birch taking back the microphone – he sings for the remainder of Emperor’s Nightingale, save for “Being it On (Path to the Mind and the Soul and the Spirit)” where he flirts with his former hip-hop phrasing style. “Far Out Feeling” is an instantly accessible dance-floor jam with contagious beats and bass groove rooted in raw funk. “Manner” hints more at a new direction as monk-like chanting soon makes way for dark keyboard tones and a clever melodic hook. Standout cut “Desert Jam” dabbles in dub before the catchy bonus track “Waves” plays like a secret single.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rather than cash in on the ‘90s revival, Stereo MC’s’ ninth studio album finds the British dance-pop veterans looking back a bit further to the sonic textures of their mid-‘80s foundation. Following the dramatic, synth-ridden soundscape of the opening intro “Wooden Heart,” Jamie Cullum cameos on “Boy,” a wonderful throwback to ‘80s electropop that recalls Pet Shop Boys, OMD and Erasure. “Phase Me” follows suit with a funkier bass line and Rob Birch taking back the microphone – he sings for the remainder of Emperor’s Nightingale, save for “Being it On (Path to the Mind and the Soul and the Spirit)” where he flirts with his former hip-hop phrasing style. “Far Out Feeling” is an instantly accessible dance-floor jam with contagious beats and bass groove rooted in raw funk. “Manner” hints more at a new direction as monk-like chanting soon makes way for dark keyboard tones and a clever melodic hook. Standout cut “Desert Jam” dabbles in dub before the catchy bonus track “Waves” plays like a secret single.

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