After the club circuit success of “Sex, God + Money” in the U.K., Neulander’s debut on Disko B has been highly anticipated. Where that dancefloor-friendly track features deadpan, heavily accented vocals well-complemented by electro-bop and swarming synth lines, the rest of the album falters. Robo-vocalist Korinna Knoll and ex-Echo and the Bunnymen Adam Peters have teamed up to create what is truly inspiring electronic pop, as far as that goes. Their sleek euro-beats and even keel tone seems fit for the end of a cocktail party or lounging and reflecting under moonlight. But the restraints of the pop paradigm weigh the music down. Each song is under four minutes and the instrumentation is surprisingly unadventurous — even Knoll’s vocals often sound similarly constrained. Most of the tracks seem like they haven’t reached their full development and are often anticlimactic. Some songs stand out in the midtempo heaven that is Smoke+Fire, like the beautifully soul-baring “Sometimes” and the minimalist echoing and buzzing landscape of “Flying.” Without a doubt, Neulander is talented. This CD just doesn’t make the most of their capabilities — where Knoll and Peters’s two heads meet they peek and never rear.
Disko B: http://www.diskob.com/