Simian Mobile Disco, Temporary Pleasure
Beth Ditto, Jamie Lidell, Gruff Rhys and Yeasayer join in on what might be the electropop album of the year
You'd be justified in feeling a good degree of skepticism toward what must be the 7,000th electropop revival album since the end of the '80s — particularly after learning that it includes cameos from the likes of The Gossip's Beth Ditto, Super Furry Animal's Gruff Rhys, Jamie Lidell, Telepathe, Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip and Yeasayer's Chris Keating. However, it is rare for such an album to be more than merely an exercise in half-remembered nostalgia, and rarer still for it to be done with the unabashed pop panache of Temporary Pleasure.
For all the glitter of the guest stars, it's the pitch-perfect production of James Ford and Jas Shaw that shines the brightest: from the Trevor-Horn-meets-Yello synth fantasia of opener "Cream Dream" to "Cruel Intentions," which sounds like the rapprochement between Yazoo and Rozalla that Vince Clarke always dreamed Erasure would be, Temporary Pleasure is all brilliantly shiny surfaces with no reason to peer underneath. There are a couple of missteps — "Audacity of Huge," an attempt at LCD Soundsystem satire that ends up sounding like an unholy combination of Daft Punk and Backstreet Boys, and "Turn Up the Dial", and ill-advised venture into hip-hop — but Temporary Pleasure is a luminous disco dolly that seeks to do more than just look good on the dance floor, even though it doesn't have to.