Simian Mobile Disco
Temporary Pleasure


3.5
great

Review

by StreetlightRock EMERITUS
August 17th, 2009 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The party has arrived, and everyone's invited.

Simian Mobile Disco bring the party. Hell, Simian Mobile Disco are the bloody party, and it’s not just in the name – just take a look at that guest list: Gossip’s Beth Ditto, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor and Jamie Lidell, Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys, electropsych duo Telepathe, yada yada yada. This is just as about as incestuously star-studded as a dance album gets, which’ll tell you pretty much all you’ll ever need to know about SMD’s current place in the pantheon of cool; verdict: shit hot. For Both James Ford and Jas Shaw, the personas behind the Simian’s uncompromising brand of head spinning electro, Temporary Pleasure finds them both standing above a scene on its knees, one thirsting for a further dose of the blitzkrieg that was 2007’s Attack Sustain Decay Release which pretty much baptized their existence alongside Justice and Digitalism. Fast forward two years, and the question is how fresh can the pioneers of fresh be when everyone else has caught up to your game" A: Vocals. And a hell of a lot of them.

If the tracklisting didn’t give it away, Rhys’ opening spot on opener “Cream Dream,” certainly does as he warps between a reverbed choral call of “Creeaaammm Dreaammmm” and half spoken, half sung verses of lyrical absurdity over a hyper realized 80s throwback beat that’s about as far removed from the traditional Simian sound as possible. It’s a statement as much as it’s a song, a “hey, look what we can do”, sliding right in between the engraving of pop culture that Temporary Pleasure reifies, sacrificing quality for hip points, but working nonetheless. Lead single “Audacity of Huge,” follows in a similar vein, with Yeasayer’s Chris Keating lending his best electro-cum-club vocal impression to the track’s playful collection of stripped down microbeats and coming off as positively, well… competent. As an indication of Pleasure’s sound, it’s an interesting turn, if only because its one that never quite hits the musical highs that it could, while still remaining gripping thanks to the originality of it’s musical turbulence. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t occasionally strike gold, as it does with “Cruel Intentions”, a track which finds Ditto literally strutting her way down the boardwalk of what may as well be a song handcrafted just for her too-cool-to-give-damn delivery of “call me up/ we’ll hang out/ I’m down for whatever”.

After all said and done though, Temporary Pleasure still remains decidedly a Simian Mobile Disco production, with their dark haze of techno influence meaning that when Pleasure does eventually hark by to it’s roots, tunes like “Synthesize” and “Off The Map” still hit like a thousand whirls of precision microcuts that add up to an intensity that match any dirty grind that most of the genre so easily scoffs up. There’s little left of the ‘wow’ factor that made SMD such a riot act in the first place, but as far as capturing the essence of head-down, arms-up pulse of dance, there’s little to complain about, and if anything, Temporary Pleasure just proves why SMD are just such an intriguing act in the first place - that despite being rooted deep into the world of the mainstream, Ford and Shaw still manage to create tunes that’ll shred whatever headspace they invade, however obscure. It’s no surprise too then, that it’s a quality that extends all the way through with “Ambulance” hinting at the once complex and sprawling of works that Simian remain so good at creating, while closer “Pinball” so easily captures the indie-electro zeitgeist as personified by the Delorean/Yacht/Gang Gang Dance axis of quirky rave. Temporary Pleasure is a glitterball of an album, shining just right when the light hits and falling where it doesn’t, but like any party, it’ll get you moving if you’re in the mood.

3.3/5



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user ratings (27)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
zenblade (4)
SMD add a whole heap of guest vocals, subtract the hard-hitting nature of their debut, and create so...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Kiran
Emeritus
August 17th 2009


6029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I heard this was bad but I guess I'll have to check it out now : D Awesome guest artists.

Electric City
Emeritus
August 17th 2009


15762 Comments


audacity of huge is the best damn thing ever

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 17th 2009


3923 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

audacity of huge is so pop. if yall can't tell i still miss old SMD.

Kiran
Emeritus
August 17th 2009


6029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

attack sustain decay release was amazing but everything i've heard so far about this says its disappointing in comparison : ( aaaaand on top, i can't find a link!

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 17th 2009


3923 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Its sorta hard to compare the two by the same standards, and like I tried to say, this is far more rooted in pop and mainstream than it is trying to be fresh like ASDR was. Had to grow on me a fair bit.

klap
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2009


12089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sweet CD

Digging: Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising

Awesomesauce
August 17th 2009


1089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Excellent review.

Not a bad record, but the blatant poppiness and nonsensical vocals wear thin after a few spins.

Kiran
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009


6029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Alex, you should review the new Tiesto when it comes out. Mad guest artists, apparently, including Jonsi of Sigur Ros, which should be really interesting.



Listened to this and yeah, I get the vibe of your review. That sentence about never quite reaching it's potential musical highs sums it up for me. Could be so much more but it's still a good listen.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009


3923 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tiesto mostly wants to make me kill myself, but i'll give it a spin =P

Kiran
Emeritus
August 22nd 2009


6029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah but Jonsi!

osmark86
March 14th 2014


8875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this album has some bloody sweet tunes for shaking it on a summer's night. audacity of huge is such a tune. still love it to bits.

Digging: Skee Mask - Compro



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