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CLIENT - "Heartland"   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Thursday, 03 May 2007

How Cool Is Coldness?

The semi-elusive female electronic trio return with their third album, the strangely titled “Heartland”. The template of Client - broody, urban electronica topped with dispassionate vocals - remains but has been upgraded slightly.


The familiar rhythms are here, driving retrospective sounds that remind one of a fleshy Human League with the air of a East German winter, are matched by the simplistic (but never simple) motifs that sound innocent yet somehow corrupt. The sound is spiced up by live instrumentation (great swathes of guitar appear on the otherwise unexceptional "Xerox Machine") and dense layered vocals. "Lights Go Out" is practically "Oh La La" without the dripping tease of sex.


It's impossible to not draw comparisons to Goldfrapp but whereas Goldfrapp sell sex with a middle-aged schoolteacher, Client meanwhile sell an aloof coolness. And how cool is coldness? Very. The German air hostess chic melds seamlessly with a slinky, semi-sensual soundtrack to sound like a some futuristic alternate universe of an economically detached discotheque.


It's not as good as 2005's "City" (then again, little is), and this album seems to be more economical on melody in favour of short, clipped melodic soundbites and blipverts of choruses. Minimalist repetition reduce the lyrics to a near hypnotic mantra (especially on "Where's The Rock N Roll Gone"), but this creates some kind of otherworld that you can easily find yourself lost in. Client - the rich man's Goldfrapp, with all the shit bits taken out. Not mutton dressed as lamb, but talent in uniforms. Fly them.


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