Lindstrøm & Christabelle
Real Life Is No Cool
The Norwegian maestro of disco, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, teams up again with Christabelle (also known as Solale), and together they craft a masterful 10-song pop album. They have worked together since 2001, and begun working on the album before 2008’s epic Where You Go I Go To.
Even though Lindstrøm is famous for his retro futuristic space disco, it never sounds like he’s working within a format. Real Life Is No Cool lacks the long masturbatory jams, and is tighter and more formal than his last few releases. The album is filled with new-wave pop melodies and piano house keys. It’s sharp and chunky with heavy stomping basslines and wobbly arpeggiated synths. Wrapped in a warm and organic analog production, it’s as dreamy as its title suggests.
Christabelle has a sexy and whispering voice, and when she sings on top of Lindstrøm’s production, it sounds like they’re having a cosmic jam. Among the many stand-out tracks is “Keep it Up,” which has an ’80s Prince and Peter Gabriel sound. “Baby Can’t Stop” should be known to most blog hunters out there in various remixes, but the original is an amazing pop song which echoes Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and Miami Sound Machine’s “Rhythm is Gonna Get You.” “Let’s Practice” is Christabelle and Lindstrøm’s Moroder/Summer moment, and never has such a reference sounded so good. With “Never Say Never” they also make room for a psychedelic trip, to a point where you check if there’s something wrong with your stereo.
Like Chromeo, Lindstrøm masters ’80s funk and it’s often tongue-in-cheek. But it never sounds ironic. An album packed with so many references, could be used as a curriculum for modern disco music. This is easily an early contender for the best album of 2010, and one of the best electronic albums ever to come out of Scandinavia.