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Nero, Welcome Reality
Interscope Records, Dec. 13

12/15/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Pretty formidable debut LP from the UK remix duo, whose “Promises” single blew up the UK dance charts in August, though much of the credit is due to their full-time singer, Alana Watson, who sounds like a sexually overwrought finalist from an Oakenfold tryout. The good news is “Promises” isn’t the best thing on here (my pick would be “Guilt,” its sexy but hurried lyrics furthering the trademarkability of the dubstep-pop speed-hook), proving the crew isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty mining the depths of dance-pop, from Madonna to Tiesto (while we’re at it, Euro-house is a big part of the picture here, along with Justice, Aphex Twin and, well, Roxette, if you want the truth). The not-so-great news is that like most of their peers, they don’t want hard-line rinseout kids to hate their guts, so, structurally, the songs, instead of embracing their originality in normal linear fashion, insist on blasting a great hook in your face, then sodding off to do some thumb-twiddling nonsense, then picking up the hook again.  Eventually, of course, bands like this will completely own the dance world, so enjoy the quirkiness while it lasts, I suppose. A- —Eric W. Saeger






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