Album Review: Real Life Is No Cool by Lindstrom & Christabelle
Excellent, Based on 11 Critics
Prefix Magazine - 90 Based on rating 9.0/10
Real Life Is No Cool sounds like the partially charming, ridiculous broken English that a lot of European artists who decide to record in English employ. It's just a hair away from what's correct. In this case, we know that Lindstrøm & Christabelle decided to be incorrect, to be flippant with the words; it's as if one of the duo, throwing a spent cigarette from their mouth, looked up at the sky and declared it: "Real life is no cool." Then apparently, they set about to correct that, because the one unifying theme that Real Life Is No Cool seems to possess is the overwhelming feeling of cool.
Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and Christabelle have been familiar with one another since 2001, when the latter casually recorded vocals over some of the former’s tracks. This led to full-fledged collaborations, and a handful of modern electro-disco singles issued across the following several years. First, there was the dreamy, slightly narcotized “Music (In My Mind),” released in 2003.
As supportive as Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's fans have been of his random acts of creative fitfulness, one wouldn't blame them for feeling a bit tested by his most recent string of output. Between his brilliant but impractical 2008 long-player Where You Go I Go Too and his 42-minute refit of "Little Drummer Boy", two of the Norwegian producer's recent major releases have accounted for nearly 100 minutes of music across a scant four tracks. In a scene where an elongated 12-minute remix is par for the course, that's still hard going.
The most recent offerings from Norwegian space disco king Lindstrøm have been decidedly epic - as in a 42-minute ambient cover of Little Drummer Boy. It turns out that while he's been working on these absurdly long stoner dance tracks, he's also been holed up in the studio with vocalist Christabelle working on this amazing album of more concise material. [rssbreak] No track even hits the seven-minute mark, and instead of slowly shifting vintage synth noodling, the focus here is on the vocals and actual songs.
Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, who we can henceforth refer to by his surname, is one of the most universally fêted dance producers operating out there. Why, this very reviewer stopped just short of calling him a genius in a DiS review last year. Chances are you won’t see many negative reviews of Real Life Is No Cool, the first album collaboration (they issued a couple of 12-inches some years back) between Lindstrøm and vocalist Christabelle, both resident in Norway.
For all his undoubted brilliance as a producer, cosmic-disco revivalist Hans-Peter Lindstrøm gives the impression of being a man incapable of understanding the phrase "too much of a good thing". You could posit that every album he's made to date could have stood a bit more judicious editing, in much the same way as you might say Johnny Vegas could stand to lose a few pounds. Compared to the half-hour opening track of 2008's Where You Go I Go Too, the most rococo prog-rock opus seems to zip economically along.
Masterful techno producer buffs up his pop chops on new collaboration Norwegian producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm’s thrilling space disco is endlessly versatile. On 2008’s Where You Go I Go Too, it stretched out for psychedelic miles. On recent Prins Thomas collaboration II, it contorted into prog and funk. And on Real Life is No Cool, with vocalist Christabelle (familiar to fans as Solale from a couple Lindstrøm singles), it compresses into baroque electronic pop.
Hans-Peter Lindstrøm seems to be a fine candidate to play Giorgio Moroder. As the anointed czar of Space Disco, he has received a warm enough embrace from those outside the club scene that his crossover appeal seems to have been circumscribed as a surefire success. With Real Life Is No Cool the Norwegian producer looks to be vying for a disco verged on pop, or a pop verged on dance.
Pleasingly organic compared to the majority of most modern, digital dance music. Louis Pattison 2009 With his soft Jesus gaze and fluffy beard, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm does not appear your everyday DJ saviour. A dance agnostic in his early 20s, he played Hammond organ in a Deep Purple tribute band, and slid into producing disco seemingly by accident. The last five or so years, mind, have seen him write an impressive resume, turning out a string of fine space-disco releases on his own Feedelity imprint before making his name internationally with Where You Go I Go Too – a masterpiece of warm, progressive space disco that posited this Norwegian producer as an heir to cosmic-minded 70s producers such as Giorgio Moroder and Daniele Baldelli.
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