Empire of the Sun, Walking On a Dream


Luke Steele's previous band, the Sleepy Jackson, weren't noted for using one idea when three would do, so letting him loose on the gaudiest tropes of 80s pop is like giving an overeater the keys to the cake shop. The flamboyantly stupid sleeve (imagine the poster to Dune if the film had been directed by the doorman at New Romantic nightspot Blitz) serves notice that he and fellow Australian Nick Littlemore have scoffed themselves silly. At various points, Walking On a Dream resembles Prince, Mercury Rev, Angelo Badalamenti, Funkadelic and the Muppets, none of them at their best. I applaud the duo's unpredictability but wish they would calm down a bit. When they do, the slick, pastel-wardrobed MOR of the title track and We Are the People demonstrate melodic agility and sun-dazzled charm. But it's a ripe cheese, best not consumed whole.


Dorian Lynskey

The GuardianTramp

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