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March 22, 2010 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Lindstrøm & Christabelle – Real Life Is No Cool


Scandinavia is a strange part of the world. No shit. It has just occurred to me that the two main types of Nordic music that I pay attention to sit in quite shocking contrast. On the one hand there are a few metal bands that just happened to burn down a church or two, on the other there is this bunch of pussies who make abnormally lush dance-pop—‘spacey’ even—and producer Hans Peter Lindstrøm is the guy most strongly connected to this ‘spacey’ trait—hence why people may tag his material as ‘space-disco’.

To give you some idea of this man’s previous output: the nearly 30-minute title track of his previous album, 2008’s Where You Go I Go Too, stands as one of the most effective examples of dance music’s ability to build an epic trip. And yes, I’ll admit it, that song has led to many a great night with a group of great mates staring at the iTunes visualiser. But if Lindstrøm is going to be remembered as one of the more memorable producers of this dance era then it would seem like his recent collaboration with vocalist Christabelle, Real Life Is No Cool, should stand as the flipside of his previous journeys into the outer nebula.

Unlike past work, Real Life Is No Cool contains songs with tight structures that put Christabelle’s vocals at the forefront. Thankfully, Christabelle is not a typical auto-tuned dance diva, rather she sounds adequately sedated half the time to match Lindstrøm’s backings. Despite how apparent it is that Lindstrøm has sense of humour, Real Life Is No Cool is by no means an album that merely makes ironic reference to disco—quite the opposite. Instead, the album sounds like the product of a guy who actually understands how good disco functions far beyond a four on the floor beat and a few lazy disco balls. As soon as the piano chords begin to interlock with the synth arpeggios during the opener ‘Looking For What’, it should be apparent that Lindstrøm knows how to decorate a melody. Over the course of this well refined ten-song cycle, this album rarely fails to put a big grin on one’s face as it shamelessly references the late 70s to the early 80s—be it through Michael Jackson, Prince, Chic, Giorgio Moroder or Vangelis.



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