Review: The Girl & the Robot – The Beauty Of Decay

So here we get to it. We wrote in an earlier post what most floats the Softsynth musical boat. While we love nearly all forms of electronic music (we like our industrial music on the more melodic side and our trance with a little energy but generally speaking…) but our wheelhouse can be boiled down to the sound achieved by Depeche Mode c1984-1990. Electronic pop/rock with a heavy helping of darkness, plentiful base and catchy keyboard riffs. Every now and again we run across a band that captures this incomparable ethos and we roll about with a stupid, sated smile on our face. Technoir captured this better than any other band in recent history. De/Vision have achieved it on their latest album to our shock and delight. And now, The Girl & the Robot have thrown their lot in with this sub-sub genre and it is a joy.

The German/Swedish duo have produced a superior album that captures the best of what this form of electronic music can be. The trick to doing it right is to take the best of an earlier era while not feeling dated. The Girl & the Robot have achieved this is spades and as a result have treated us to one of the best, if not the best new release of 2010.

Take “Another Love”. Catchy, lyrically repetitive but never trite, great synth line in the chorus, bubbling sequences that conjure up thoughts of Book of Love or Bronski Beat, and enough balls to keep the affair from floating into the weakest synth pop hell. It’s a by-the-numbers perfect electronic track. And this album is full of them. Singer Plastique has a somewhat limited range  but within that range she projects a gutsy, sexy purr that suits electronic music like a tiny hand into a well-powdered glove. Songsmith Deadbeat knows his way around a synth breaking between clever retro sequencing and timeless analog-sounding noise propelling lead keyboard lines (a great pet peeve of Softsynth’s is the disappearance of the melodic keyboard line that made Yazoo, Soft Cell, early O.M.D., Fad Gadget, the aforementioned Bronski Beat or early Depeche Mode so memorable in their day). The meshing of these two talents is revelatory.

Whether a ballsy dark electro pulse like “Crash Course in Hate” or a lighter, wispy-soft pseudo-ballad like “Please Stay” each track builds to a package that is pure electro joy. As a whole the album is entirely satisfying, as a collection of stand-alone tunes, it brings nuggets of electronic perfection to the table.

Utterly satisfying and one of the best electronic debuts in recent memory. Entirely worth a listen and at least a modicum of attention.


One Response to “Review: The Girl & the Robot – The Beauty Of Decay”

  1. […] themes thrown in they are in the mold of Softsynth’s very favourite stylings (see previous references to The Girl and the Robot). Their lead single “The Hunter” is a brilliant synthpop […]

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