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DANCE DUO UP THEIR GAME ON MULTI-PACED, MULTI-CONTRIBUTOR RETURN
Francis Jones, 24 Aug 2009
The calibre of guest vocalists that London dance maestros Simian Mobile Disco have assembled for their second album is staggering. This could be perceived as a cynical attempt by the pair to reach out to a wider audience, or a mere act of ‘look at all our famous friends’ indulgence. In truth, such motives matter not a jot. What is important is how seamlessly the singers slot into the SMD framework.
Rarely are the guests pushed too far out of their comfort zones – Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys gets the spaced-out opener ‘Cream Dream’, Alexis Taylor has something of a busman’s holiday on the Hot Chip-alike ‘Bad Blood’ and Telepathe close the album out with ‘Pinball’, a track which wouldn’t sound out of place on their own album. The real fun comes, however, when certain guests step outside their normal personas, as Yeasayer’s Chris Keating does to boisterous effect on the twisted, through-the-looking-glass pop of lead single ‘Audacity Of Huge’. Beth Ditto meanwhile trades in her rock gospel holler for disco siren croon on the winning ‘Cruel Intentions’ and Jamie Lidell excels on the giddy ‘Off The Map’.
Impressive as these contributions are, the two names that really count are those of SMD duo James Ford and Jas Shaw. In fact, who needs vocalists when you can rustle up something as pleasing as the instrumental beats bonanza of ‘10,000 Horses Can’t Be Wrong’? Shifting smoothly through the gears, Temporary Pleasure proves a more nuanced record than their mostly full-throttle debut, Attack Decay Sustain Release, and, contrary to what that title suggests, this should prove an enduringly satisfying listen.