Poni Hoax

Images of Sigrid

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Two years flat after Poni Hoax's remarkable debut full-length, Images of Sigrid adds to the group's repertoire without expanding its palette. If anything, this second opus is slightly more streamlined and predictable than the first. Still, a pretty strong platter it is, with singer Nicolas Ker still playing the dark dandy, his half-crooner, half-deadpan delivery providing a perfect match for the four-to-the-floor beats and '80s synth lines. "Antibodies" is to this album what "Budapest" was to the previous one: a powerful tongue-in-cheek dance-floor hit (come on, who really cares about his or her antibodies on the dance floor?). "The Paper Bride," "Pretty Tall Girls," and "My Own Private Vietnam" offer more musical meat around the beat bone, more force too. And on "Hypercommunicate," things get weirder, Ker switches from cool detachment to angered wails, turning the song into a cross between Human League and Random Hold. The songs tend to run on for a bit too long, exhausting their material, then artificially extending their lifespan through extra repetitions of the chorus. Yet, this is not the reason why the album's duration pushes over the 70-minute mark. That would be due to the curve-ball closer "Faces in the Water," a 13-minute ambient track! Images of Sigrid is a well written, brilliantly executed album of out-disco -- dance music with an attitude and a flair for character playing. Tigersushi producer Joakim did a good job building the group's musical personality, but, with this second album, he might have caged Poni Hoax into a sound they won't be able to escape from now on.

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