Empire of the Sun: Walking on a Dream (Capitol)

 |   |  1 min read

Empire of the Sun: Half Mast
Empire of the Sun: Walking on a Dream (Capitol)

Not to be confused with the Spielberg movie of the same name (or an album title perilously close to Springsteen's current Working on a Dream), this is a project of (former Kiwi/now Australian) Luke Steele of Elsewhere favourites The Sleepy Jackson and Nick Littlemore of the electro-band Pnau (and who previously in Teenager with Ladyhawke).

One wag has said that when he saw photos of the duo (below) he thought they were a sketch from The Mighty Boosh -- and that's fair. This is retro electro-pop which has stepped off an Eighties dancefloor and if you liked MGMT or Mika (and you should!) then these guys will doubtless have some appeal.sun

   It lacks the epic-psychedelic and camp gandeur of The Sleepy Jackson, and the songs aren't as strong as MGMT/Mika/Bonde do Role etc who also present glammy pop, and you do sense that these guys are just having a bit of self-indulgent fun and pulled out Michael Jackson's classic albums as well as a whole bunch of disco and techno-pop.

But my guess is the album format isn't their strength, it is in cracking singles and the bouncy title track, and the simple and memorable falsetto hooks in Half Mast, suggest that's their strength -- and weakness. But we live in an ADSD world so . . .  

They don't lack a kind of Brian Wilson-grandeur in the arrangements (always a feature of the much underrated Sleepy Jackson) on pieces like the glistening instrumental Country or the wobbly backing vocals on Swordfish Hotkiss Night.

But they play their aces first on the opening three tracks and after that some of this palls a little. Check out the video of the single and the posted track though. Might just be your thing. 

Share It

Your Comments

Dream girl - Feb 4, 2009

Very helpful for my school report

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Belle and Sebastian: The BBC Sessions (Shock)

Belle and Sebastian: The BBC Sessions (Shock)

People like me -- about four decades past flatting, social anxiety, worries about sexual orientation, and so on -- are probably not the target audience for this light, fey but beguiling Scottish... > Read more

Salon Kingsadore: Instant Compositions by Salon Kingsadore (Sarang Bang)

Salon Kingsadore: Instant Compositions by Salon Kingsadore (Sarang Bang)

The Sarang Bang label helmed by Auckland guitarist/composer Gianmarco Liguori is a marvelous labour of love (my guess is it barely turns a profit) because it has released not just interesting... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

TONTON MACOUTE: THEIR SELF-TITLED DEBUT, CONSIDERED (1971): The jazz-rock classical connection

TONTON MACOUTE: THEIR SELF-TITLED DEBUT, CONSIDERED (1971): The jazz-rock classical connection

It's likely the most familiar name on the 1971 debut album by British jazz-rockers Tonton Macoute isn't that of any band member or even engineer Martin Rushent (who went on to produce the... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Rumer; Seasons of my Soul (Atlantic)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Rumer; Seasons of my Soul (Atlantic)

Although this album was released in the UK in late 2010, it didn't get airspace in New Zealand until some months later -- and therefore qualified as a Best of Elsewhere 2011 album (see the full... > Read more