Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Ella Riot used to be known as My Dear Disco, and while their sound bears little resemblance to typical ‘70s dancefloor thump, there are several points of reference where the old handle makes sense -- Ella Riot's music is pop deeply rooted in dance-friendly beats, dominated by glossy production featuring lots of vintage synthesizer patches, and possessing a studied cool that still makes room for a desire to party. Ella Riot have clearly sworn allegiance to the 1980s rather than the ‘70s on Love Child, and there's a very European smoothness to the clean surfaces on the music and the soulful but controlled vocals of Michelle Chamuel. Tyler Duncan, the group's mastermind, is obviously enamored with various forms of IDM both past and present, but while he draws keen inspiration from the sounds and structures of funk, techno, and house, at the core these are pop tunes and he sinks a keen melodic hook into each of these five songs, and the collision of electric guitars and bagpipes on the final rave-up "Clubbin" is a welcome bit of inspired lunacy that confirms their approach is hardly doctrinaire. The production on Love Child is crystal-clear and clean as a whistle -- almost too much so, as this music is energetic enough that it ought to give off a bit more sweat and strain than it does. But if the surfaces are mirror smooth, the heart of Ella Riot beats strong with love of a good tune and a good groove, and this is fine, well-crafted music from a group with a mind of its own.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming