Neon Neon – Stainless Style

Neon NeonYou would have thought the resurgence of 1980’s nostalgia would have faded years ago, once people stopped play GTA: Vice City. But it still goes on; the new M83 album harks back to the slick synth-pop hey-day of the 80’s and now Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals has teamed up with producer Boom Bip for an album of glossy electronic pop that wouldn’t have been out of the place on the New Wave station in Vice City. For a long time, my memories of 80’s pop was horrid white boy soul like Johnny Hates Jazz and other shite like that. Stainless Style however manages to take all the good parts of 80s pop and somehow make it sound fresh.

The whole album is seemingly a concept album about the rise and fall of John Delorean, whose eponymous car was a symbol of what was good and bad about the Reagan-years. In all honesty, aside from a few lyrical mentions, the concept doesn’t really add or subract anything to the album. The opening “Neon Theme” is an interesting track, that sounds more like a sleek post punk guitar track than a slickly produced pop gem. “Steel Your Girl” is a sunny pop song that could easily have been a SFA song. The single “I Lust U” reminds me of Depeche Mode’s “People Are People”, but still sounds original thanks to it’s catchy chorus.

The more hip-hop based tracks like “Sweat Shop”, “Luxury Pool” and “Trick For Treat” let the album down slighlty, as they just sound like modern hip-hop tracks, despite some quality vocals from the likes of Fat Lip. The best track is the shimmering power-pop of “I Told Her On Alderaan”, a knowing wink to the dominance Star Wars had on the 80’s but a hugely optimistic and uplifting track too. There’s also the album’s title track at the end which has the Magic Numbers provide some great harmony vocals too. Stainless Style might sound a bit “too 80s” for some people (trust me, unless you’ve heard the new M83 album, then you’ve not heard anything yet), but it’s a great synth pop album that unashamedly borrows from the past, but never sounds derivative.

Neon Neon – I Lust U:

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  1. Bina

    Any thoughts on Vampire Weekend? Bizarre album – everything from two-tone to chamber music – yet very “pop”. I’m listening to it on constant loop right now, and I’m amazed to have finally found an album you haven’t reviewed!

  2. Yeah, I’ve been pretty tardy of late. The Vampire Weekend album is good, but it’s still in my “to review pile”. I went and bought about 11 albums on Tuesday and I’ll buy some more soon, but I’ll get through them eventually.

  3. Bina

    Excellent! I look forward to reading your review!




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