Cryonica have been making a lot about this Swedish duo's supposed 'minimalist' synthpop sound but, to these ears, nothing on this fine album sounds any more minimalistic than most of the mid 90s Scandinavian synthpop bands that Fredrik & Arielle seem to be influenced by (such as Restricted Area or Perpetuum Mobile to pick a couple of obscure examples).
That's not to say they're in any way copyist (certainly notcompared to some bands I could mention!) but with its almost clinical, but not unemotional, approach it's sure to appeal to synthpop purists with its ever-so-slightly quirky edge aided by some endearingly odd turns of phrase, as well as that old stand-by, the vocodered vocals that add an extra harmonic element to the chorus of 'Mindcontrol', all combining to give the album a certain retro appeal. Only the electronica-flavoured 'Cloud Of Clowns' takes on any noticeably modern elements (a couple of the remixes notwithstanding) but it provides a nice change of pace & a definate contrast to the pacey & somewhat more strident 'TV-Spell', which preceeds it.
What really stands the album in good stead, though, is the constantly appealing compositional skills which might not make too many demands upon the listener but engage the mind time & time again with some fine sequencing adding to the appeal of 'Hidden Camera' & the lively 'Tumbledown' while the music does a decent job of complimenting the sensuous vocals of 'Made On Stage'. The highlights, however, come in the form of the title track where the absorbing melodics & fine vocals work together to fine effect & 'The Doll' which is an instantly memorable piece with a slight gothic appeal in the lyrics although the use of the phrase 'were' instead of 'was' ("the doll were crashed/against the wall she were smashed) might leave you with the impression that the duo are actually from Yorkshire! Still, this just adds character to the whole album which is sure to go down a storm with synthpoppers the world over so if that's your thing you'll not want to miss this!
Artist Link: http://www.cryonica.com