One of this year's great electronic albums
Sophie Bruce 2009-01-29
If you believe the industry buzz, Telepathe are two self-styled 'effortlessly cool' Brooklyn babes making groundbreaking electro tunes which mix anything from poetry to vintage synths. In truth, all their debut album Dance Mother proves is that there definitely is such a thing as 'too cool'.
Melissa Livaudais and Busy Gangnes share a US label with Little Boots, a merchandise designer with Simian Mobile Disco and are so darn hot they don't even have a Wikipedia entry to their name… thus far. But it's not enough - this album simply isn't worthy of the hysterical plaudits being thrown at it.
It's not that there isn't promise; Telepathe are clearly talented, know how to get themselves noticed and aren’t exactly hard on the eye either. It's just that the promise is a teeny bit overshadowed by the surrounding frenzy.
Album opener So Fire is a positive start - short sweet electro pop, full of breathy ''oh's'' and squelchy synths. Lights Go Down has hints of Goldfrapp at her most sinister. Drugged is choral and uplifting and Michael may just be the track responsible for kicking off the hype in the first place.
But Chrome's On It is a mess, saved only by catchy staccato phrase repetition. And even that starts to sound childish after a while (read tiresome, immature rather than prodigious, brilliant). Elsewhere, Can't Stand It never gets off the ground and Devil's Trident is totally unmemorable, even after several listens.
Dance Mother has been called 'one of this year's great electronic albums'. It's a bit early to be making statements like that – both in 2009 and in the story of Telepathe. Capable of making one of the great electronic albums of the 2010s? Definitely. They just need to do something very uncool first – try harder.