CD REVIEW: Elektronika - "Night & Day - 2 Disc Set"
By Gian F - 04/20/2004 - 01:33 AM EDT
Album: "Night & Day - 2 Disc Set"
Sounds Like: New Order
Technical Grade: 6
Production/Musicianship Grade: 6
Commercial Value: 6
Overall Talent Level: 7
Songwriting Skills: 6
Performance Skill: 6
Best Songs: Popular, Foolish Love, Bleed, Hiding
Weakness: Too many songs/Needs contemporary production
CD Review: From Seattle, Washington comes Elektronika - not the genre of music, but the band that specializes in retro 80s electronica/techno. This is a very interesting (and ambitious) project because many industry professionals that I talk to wonder out loud about when the now defunct genre of "techno-pop" is going to return, or at least be reincarnated in some form.
Groups such as Human League, Pet Shop Boys, Howard Jones, New Order, Heaven 17, Depeche Mode, and my favorite, Naked Eyes, ruled the charts in the early 80s with their innovative and almost nauseatingly hooky records. Love them or hate them, you couldn't escape them in the top 40 because they were (for the most part) really good songs.
While Elektronika is obviously and intentionally trying to emulate the flavor and spirit of that era, they fail to recapture the quality of the songwriting while succeeding in duplicating the inherent production values on most of the tracks on this project.
Their shining moments don't come while looking back, but when moving forward. The most commercially viable song "Popular," is a club smash with radio hit potential. It (along with what I would choose as a follow up single, "Foolish Love") doesn't evoke any memories, only visions of how great this band can be when everything is clicking artistically and they have a sense of direction.
Advice: Focus on the songwriting. Quantity is no substitute for quality.
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