Following the grandiose Baroque ambitions of the Jim O'Rourke-produced Pedals and the John Herndon-helmed electro-pop of Pelo, the Aluminum Group's fifth LP, Happyness, is both a return to their roots and a continuation of all that's come before, recalling the sly, sophisticated synth melodies of the Plano album while at the same time incorporating the torch ballad elegance, layered arrangements, and programmed beats that made intervening efforts so rewarding. The first installment of a proposed trilogy, Happyness (misspelling theirs) boasts a cinematic flair that conjures a Chicago nightlife much too stylish and cool to actually exist. Rarely, if ever, have synths sounded so truly urbane, and the cumulative effect is postmodernist pop music that sounds simultaneously cutting edge, retro, and utterly timeless.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny