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Thread: Empire State Human - Pop Robot

  1. #1


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    Default Empire State Human - Pop Robot

    I read a few positive reviews of Empire State Human last month and, on faith, bought the limited edition double CD of Pop Robot. I just recieved it today, and I could not be happier. The album begins alright, but not spectacular... and gets better as it goes. Everything from Munich Robots/Firebird Sweet on is incredible (and the original version of Swining Pendulums is better than the Wave In Head Remix in my opinion). I haven't listened to the second CD yet (listening to the first one the second time through as I write this .

    The thing that triggered me to risk it and buy this album without hearing anything was, besides the good reviews, the fact that they're Irish. I assumed that meant the singer would have an Irish accent, which I had never heard in any synth before and was hoping for. It turns out he doesn't have much of an accent, but I'm not disappointed at all! His voice is beautiful anyway, perhaps the strongest part of their music. The sounds and styles are not very 80's, they are modern and with techno influence... however, the attitude and execution of the music seems as confident and sincere as veterans like Erasure, Alphaville, and the Human League (who gave the band their name with a track from Reproduction). This is not just another generic immitator though. They have talent and a unique sound. I recommend them to everyone!

    (btw, Pop Robot features an unmentioned bonus track - a cover of the song Empire State Human itself, and although fairly straightforward, it is better than the original Human League version - and I really do put the League on a pedestal so that's quite a compliment coming from me).

    I will be buying their first album as soon as I can afford it (I've been spending way too much on music lately heh) and hope it matches Pop Robot's brilliance. If you do get Pop Robot, make sure it is the version with 21 (22) tracks (there seems to have been an original release with only 14 tracks) and some of the best music on the album comes after track 14...

  2. #2


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    I was going to buy the album, until you mentioned TECHNO, that's a problem with alot of today's Synthpop, it's to thumpin sounding, and to ts ts ts ts ts, i guess i'll wait until i hear a song from them, don't get me wrong, they sound interesting, i just want to hear a little something from them before i get their cd.
    Off the subject, Cause And Effect's "Another Minute", true Synthpop heaven.

    Later,
    STEVO

  3. #3


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    Yes, that's why I mentioned techno, as a warning to those who don't like synth unless it comes from a moog.

    But I still recommend giving some tracks a listen (try audiogalaxy for that - ESH do offer some mp3s on their own site but the links are broken). Few of the tracks have the techno beat you mention (if that's what you mean by thumping) but it does appear here and there, so it may not be for you.

    Comparisons to other artists are really the best way to describe music though - so try to imagine what Ganymede would sound like if they actually had good vocals, and more quirky music and lyrics.

  4. #4


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    Default Empire State Human

    ... they also have a track on the Synthpopalooza USA Tribute to America entitled "Stare". Not having heard the Pop Robot CD yet, I would venture to say that this offering is different in that it is a breakbeat flavoured track (having been remixed by Skintone, another Irish band) ... but this track has me sold on ESH.

    The song is in my rotation at Synthpopalooza Radio ... if you listen long enough you will hear it.

  5. #5


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    I actually wasn't too impressed by the Empire State Human CD. There are a few good ideas on there, but the vocals are way too loud and campy throughout, and I couldn't find a very memorable melody on that whole disc. Every track is the same tempo, there's nothing partcularly dancy. As you said the track order seems random, and the CD goes on forever, wearing out is welcome far before track 22 rolls around.

  6. #6


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    Didn't really notice the techno, but I was very impressed with this album particulary the melodies and production.
    It's excellent for an official debut and I believe they will get even better (there is a lot of talent on this album).

    I will be writing a review for Pop Robot soon over at Electronically Yours.
    e l e c t r o n i c a l l y y o u r s

    http://www.league-online.com/news.html

  7. #7


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    I see where you're coming from Hey_Buddy - there are a few tracks that probably should not have made it to the album - not because they were bad, but rather boring. Overall I still love it though and as Orac said, the thing that strikes me about it is the amount of potential they have, because they do sound considerably different from the other recent synth groups to emerge. Their music has a sci-fi theme lyrically, which is ok - but could be better. In fact, I think that stronger lyrics might be what ESH need to become truly great.

  8. #8


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    A little off topic, but Australian synth band Tycho Brahe is remixing a track for Empire State Human later this year. The fan-run Tycho website is at http://tycho.gil.com.au

  9. #9
    ElectroGardener Mike Gjennestad's Avatar
    Joined
    April 5th, 2001
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    got the cd loved it, i mean not the album of the year by any stretch, but a solid effort, it has a retro sound to it. very solid and very good.



    gjennmike
    SYNTHPOP!!! To infinity and beyond!!!!

  10. #10


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    As I mentioned in another thread, great album. Amazingly smooth vocals and sounds. Bada bing.

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