Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Zeigeist - The Jade Motel (2008)

It's time to dust off the Ray-Bans and get back into the neon fog - Zeigeist's debut, The Jade Motel, is here from the Nation of Lifelover to spice things up. With a delicious dose of Depechean despondency mixed into infectious electropop numbers, Zeigeist have started off as a pretty hot contender for the floor.

Interestingly, Zeigeist gained much of their early attention due to someone tagging one of their songs as being leaked from an upcoming album by fellow Swedish dancehall haunts, The Knife. While the comparison in sound between the two bands is obvious, Zeigeist managed to get going on their own feet and have come to earn praise on their own. I'll go ahead and say that I actually prefer Zeigeist, but let's drop this already.

I really have to point out the synthwork on this album. Their choices are phenomenal, imbuing the songs with tangible emotions while still remaining poppy and highly polished. Hefty, gritty, tactile baselines power their way with confidence, while synths that wouldn't be out of place in early 90s videogames wind their way around them. Singing is delivered with classic synthpop softness at times, but more often comes with a spunky edge. Frontgirl Princess has a great tone, cute and whistful, equally dirty and innocent. The lyrics are simple, of course, yet they have a certain poignancy at times that comes out of their pairing with the music. The sultry crawl of "Cuffs" and the line 'it's like the first time that we kissed' never fails to get under my skin. The beats won't win any awards for uniqueness, but thankfully they're varied between songs.

I haven't been listening to this long enough to know if it will remain appealing after the 100th spin, but that's usually not a problem with electronica. This is strong, catchy, satisfying dance material, so hop on this shit already.

Verdict: Win [4/5]


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