There's something joyous afoot throughout Lionrock's excellent, overlooked gem of an album An Instinct for Detection. Equal parts throbbing, frazzled instrumentals and tracks with too-cool vocals, the entire album shines. When things get heavy, Justin Robertson and company throw in hilarious samples, before getting back to the business of creating a soundtrack for city life. The instrumental tracks, abuzz with inebriated electronics, work in a caffeinated vein, repeatedly suggesting a controlled driving force; it's first-class dance music when it goes the dance route. Particularly delightful tracks along this path are the absolutely ominous-sounding dark movements of "Death Valley Clapperboard" and the evocative film noir suggestions of "The Guide." Vocalist MC Buzz B uses a vocal inflection that is entirely infectious on "Straight at Yer Head," "Peace Repackaged," and "Depth." His style is a cross between singing and syncopated speech; the ultra-precise enunciation works as an excellent counterpoint to the aggressive, accessible throttle of the music. Perhaps the album didn't catch on with a wider audience because it came too early in the electronica boom of the late '90s, but it certainly contains massive charms and a handful of tracks that could very easily be hit singles. An Instinct for Detection is a remarkable, wonderful album that shows consistent mastery of the pop and electronica genres. It's the perfect example of an album that masters dance and pop music, and it is perhaps the greatest lost classic of the '90s in any genre.
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AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2