CD Review: Empire of the Sun: Walking on a Dream

(Virgin)

Bringing together the Sleepy Jackson's Luke Steele and dance producer Nick Littlemore, this Aussie duo's debut promises a lot more fun from its kitschy, sci-fi-inspired cover than its contents deliver. Dealing in falsetto-led synth-pop, Walking on a Dream initially casts a hypnotic spell, notably via the sun-kissed title track. But as the album progresses, so tightly wound grooves are replaced by listless psychedelic whimsy, while detours into MOR balladry ("Without You") and robo-funk ("Swordfish Hotkiss Night") fail to transcend Eighties pastiche. And when it comes to closest soundalikes MGMT, they unquestionably pale by comparison.

Contributor

Hugh Montgomery

The GuardianTramp

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