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Codename: Rondo by Ghostland Observatory

Ghostland Observatory

Codename: Rondo

Release Date: Oct 25, 2010

Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Club/Dance

Record label: Trashy Moped Records


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Album Review: Codename: Rondo by Ghostland Observatory

Mediocre, Based on 4 Critics

AllMusic - 60
Based on rating 6/10

No one can ever accuse Ghostland Observatory of opportunism -- not only did they emerge too late to jump on the electroclash bandwagon of the early 2000s, it's entirely conceivable that they -- with singer Aaron Behrens prancing around in pigtails like some misplaced glam rocker to cohort Thomas Turner's dance-rock beats -- got their asses kicked on a regular basis when starting out in their home town of Austin. And with the release of Ghostland Observatory's fourth album, Codename: Rondo, the perseverant pair has managed to last longer and create more music than most of the original electroclash cabal. Behrens and Turner are at their best when they're mixing a Suicide-like, post-punky drive with walloping Justice/Daft Punk synth hooks, and from "Glitter" to "Miracles," the album is heavily front-loaded in that direction.

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PopMatters - 60
Based on rating 6/10

In “Give Me the Beat”, a winning little song halfway through Codename: Rondo, Ghostland Observatory singer Aaron Behrens struts down the boulevard of some seedy nighttown. A “pusherman” offers him ups and downs, whites and greens; a guy in a Cadillac tries to sell him some hot jewelry; a pimp extols the services of Sheila and Jeanine (“Legs for days, they go both ways!”). To each of these characters Behrens politely replies, “That ain’t for me / Just gimme the beat!” Then the swinging electrobeat in question bounces him along on his merry way.

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Pitchfork - 15
Based on rating 1.5/10

It's said that a rising tide lifts all boats, so the opposite would have to be true as well. Ghostland Observatory had been knocking around Austin for a few years prior to Robotique Majestique, but it was their first album to come out after MGMT blew up. Granted, what ensued was a label feeding frenzy only by 2008's standards, but it was a pretty opportune time to be in a duo whose main talking points were squealing synths, hair-metal falsettos, and a wardrobe that included capes.

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Delusions of Adequacy
Opinion: Average

There’d be no other way to really ever understand music unless one would experience it firsthand. Ghostland Observatory was the kind of group that presented something uniquely overdone: solid dance music that is both poppy and electronic enough to interest people. The last song (“Kick Clap Speaker”) off their latest album, Codename: Rondo, features the album’s absolute best moments; unfortunately, the preceding nine songs leave so much to be desired that you’d be lucky to make it so far.

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