Review Summary: Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's knack for crafting disco gems hasn't left him, even if his more prominent traits of retro-futurism have.
Surprisingly modish and slick, Real Life Is No Cool
is one of those albums that's stuck so far in the past that it's become surprisingly relative to our generation, if not fresh
. Armed with a slink and fluent set of electronics, an easygoing croon, and mostly improvised lyrics, Real Life Is No Cool
may be based off our
technology-computers, synths, etc.-but never does it sound like our generation. Instead Real Life Is No Cool
is a throwback to the seventies and its world of groovy tunes. Set up with free-floating sounds, simplistic yet accessible beats, and a breathy falsetto, Lindstrøm & Christabelle have found their niche in the world of laid-back electronic music.
Now, it seems as though this album is standard disco-fare, but one of retro-futurism's creators has taken a fresh take on the movement, as to atomize his roots in exchange for a genre-mash that seems a genre all its own. "Baby I Can't Stop" is a palpable tribute to Off The Wall
-era Michael Jackson, fused with disco chic; yet it has acquired a sense of lulling accessiblity worthy of radio-play. Yet, "Music (In My Mind)", "Looking For What", and "Let's Practise" are all psychelic tracks, most likely conceived with the aid of hallucinogens or something groovy and hipster like that. While the first of these spacious (dare I say psychedelic") tracks is furtive, the second is comprised of several minimalist perks like diffuse piano chords, scattered guitar chugs, and samples. This is much like "Let's Practise", which uses a more space-age modernity and fuses it with a prominent sense of the retro. Part of this combination is due to the electric chords and noises being combined with "Christabelle" (aka. Solale) and her resplendent falsetto.
Rarely has this sound sounded so completely effortless; Christabelle's soaring croon is interwines with any of Lindstrøm's grooves. She compliments the recurring brass work, glides with the synth, and compliments the melody to where each track is worthy of a good head-nod, even those that are slightly less structured than their neighbors. Wobbly and sometimes cheesy synths weave their way into Lindstrøm & Christabelle's sound as do relatively chiptune videogame noises. This electronic take on the old, the dated, and the surprisingly cool
takes the duo's debut to a new level altogether, redefining retro-futurism in such a way that every indie nut will crave it, and every one else should.