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AU59: Vitalic album review

October 13, 2009

Vitalic flashmob

VITALIC
FLASHMOB
PIAS

Four years is a long time in dance music. When Vitalic’s magnificent OK Cowboy came out in 2005, its hedonistic electro drew breathless comparison to fellow Frenchmen Daft Punk, but in the silence that has followed (except for an under-the-radar live album), Pascal Arbez has found his thunder well and truly stolen by Justice, Simian Mobile Disco et al. Then again, it’s not like he’d burst from nowhere anyway – that first album featured tracks dating back to 2001 – and so the slow follow-up is hardly surprising. As to whether it’s worth the wait? Er, not really.

What OK Cowboy did perfectly was to blend all-out dancefloor H-bombs like ‘La Rock 01’ and ‘My Friend Dario’ with some eerie, almost Kraftwerk-esque atmospherics and a real sense of cohesion. On Flashmob, though, you can tell that the last few years’ developments have given Arbez pause for thought, and there are too many trashy, disposable bangers like ‘Chicken Lady’ and the frankly irritating title track. Arbez is still capable of wheeling out the heavy artillery to jaw-dropping effect – to wit the jet-engine roar of ‘Terminateur Benelux’ and the euphoric ‘Second Lives’ – while ‘Poison Lips’ introduces a hint of shimmering disco to proceedings, but this follow-up is not in the same class as the debut.

7/10

DOWNLOAD: ‘POISON LIPS’, ‘TERMINATEUR BENELUX’, ‘YOUR DISCO SONG’.
FOR FANS OF: JUSTICE, SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO, CRYSTAL CASTLES.

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