Thursday, July 1, 2010

Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream


The magic of Luke Steele once again, this time paired with Nick Littlemore from P'Nau.  I can't be objective about this album, as it's been on my gymPod since we first got it - days after it came out, I think.  The only problem with Walking on a Dream is that I don't really know the names of any of the songs, so I've had to do a quick run-through with the Amazon sampler to identify my favourites.  And I don't have any.  Song follows song, and each is as individually beautiful and fantastically produced as the next.

I can say that Country sounds like the theme from Twin Peaks - Swordfish Hotkiss Theme is just cool bouncy dance - and Without You always makes me close my eyes.  Dangerous while driving.  Which is strange because the opening two songs, Standing on the Shore and Walking on a Dream are possibly two of the best-ever driving songs I've heard.  Makes me want to take to the country on a warm summer's day with the windows down and not another car in sight.

But for anyone who loves really well-put-together pop music, BUY THIS ALBUM.  There you go, Luke, did I do well?  Well enough that you'll come and play music at our place some time?  Ah, go on....



I like Luke Steele.  I like that he consistently remains unpredictable and interesting.  When I first heard he was joining up with Nick Littlemore, of dance duo P'nau, it really made me wonder what the results might be.  Thankfully, they're suprisingly good.

Walking On A Dream straddles the past and the future beautifully, without giving in to either.  There are tracks on here that could easily have sat at the top of the charts in the mid-80s and tracks that sound so now, you can almost taste their freshness.  There are overtones of Steele's other band, The Sleepy Jackson, as well as Littlemore influences as well.  Given the disparate sounds both employ, this set is surprisingly coherent and cohesive.

I can't help but think of Bowie when I listen to this, such is its inventivness, from the pop beauty of We Are The People, the surreal repetitiousness of Swordfish Hotkiss Night and the bouncing energy of Half Mast.  Only time will tell if Steele's output has the same influence as Bowie's has done, but so far, it's looking very good.


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