Raise the Pressure

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Electronic began as a side project for New Order's Bernard Sumner and the Smiths' Johnny Marr, dabbling in the sort of '80s synth-pop pioneered by the former's band. Raise the Pressure is not so firmly planted in that genre -- there's still a good deal of retro electronica, but Marr brings in more guitar work, making the album more of a straight-ahead pop affair. Some of the songs are Brit-pop at its finest ("Forbidden City," "For You,"), and others hint at New Order's oeuvre (&"Dark Angel") -- some engage in a more danceable pop style reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys. Solid writing and a few new tricks keep it from becoming an exercise in mid-'80s English nostalgia.

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