Saturday, June 27, 2009

Album Review: "Walking On A Dream" - Empire of the Sun

"I'm just in awe of what's in front of me"

Firstly, can I just say that this album review is 6 months late, as I ordered the album back in January and it was delivered on its initial release date: but due to circumstances, time went on and one month turned into here we are at the end of June 2009, with EOTS finally having broken into the UK singles chart with "We Are The People" so I thought it would be a good time to publish my review. Better late than never.

The unique selling point about this Aussie duo is that they neither look, nor sound, like anyone else. They have a distinctive image, which once seen will never be forgotten. Their music is almost always compared to another duo who achieved fame over the last 12 months, MGMT, but in my opinion EotS are much much better.

The main thing about this album - dare I say a stumbling block - is that the first four tracks "Standing on the Shore"/"Walking On A Dream"/"Half Mast"/"We Are The People" - are so stunning that they overshadow everything that follows, to such an extent that it could be described as an album of two halves - the outstanding first four tracks are probably the only ones you will need, and if they are to define EotS' career, then that would be a fine quartet to remember them by.

The lyrics of "We Are The People" make reference to 1975. There is perhaps a retro feel to some of EotS' music which sounds as if it could have come from that time, and that's maybe what makes it special for me. I'm really glad this song made the UK top 20 - but I was also pleasantly surprised too, that something of such considerable quality could break through into a chart mainly consisting of dire tedious rubbish.

If you do manage to get beyond the first four tracks, then well done. The bad news is that there is nothing to match their greatness - although "Delta Bay" is weird and wonderful with its falsetto vocals; instrumental "Country" is reminiscent of the Twin Peaks theme (remember that?); "Swordfish Hotkiss Night" has the duo channelling their inner Prince; and closing ballad "Without You" definitely sounds as if it was lifted off an 80s film soundtrack.

Empire of the Sun is a unique act with lots and lots of promise for the future - they've delivered a great (if uneven) album but if they keep on developing their musical vision then they will become a real force to be reckoned with.

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