The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Bring Us Together

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The Asteroids Galaxy Tour have never been afraid to make confoundingly weird albums, and while their third release, 2014's Bring Us Together, is their most focused and accessible to date, it's still a handful of glittery, sparkly oddball pop that's sure to confuse people who like their music easy to understand and categorize. Like the rest of their genre-bending albums, which sound like a wacky mashup of everything from lounge music to Björk, trip-hop, and space-age disco, this record is all over the place. Along with their usual inspirations, the duo of vocalist Mette Lindberg and producer Lars Iversen rope in some '80s pop ("Navigator"), some echoing hip-hop ("My Club"), some rubbery P-Funk ("Choke It"), and a whole bunch of dubby reggae, while still working really hard to give the album a unified feel throughout. All the songs have the same kind of overstuffed, reverb-filled production, the same kind of massed background vocals, and a similar kind of laid-back, almost relaxed vibe. Tracks like the beachy "Zombies" and the swaggering "Get Connected" are streamlined in AGT terms; songs like "Rock the Ride" and the neo-soul groover "Hurricane" are practically stripped down, and the rest of the album goes down just a bit more smoothly than previous albums have. Though it marks a somewhat major change in philosophy, the album works well, though some people might miss the anything-goes attitude of earlier days. There's usually only so long a band can careen around in five directions at once; it has to settle down and get serious about its sound at some point. And if this kind of warped, sunshiny pop is the direction AGT are going to go, that's fine. Especially if you miss the way No Doubt sounded on Rock Steady. Or if you were one of the handful of people who might remember Apollo Smile and her very similar self-titled album from 1991. Like those two albums, Bring Us Together delivers a warm and inclusive version of pop that's fairly lightweight, but always interesting and fun. Maybe not as crazy or out there as before, but still plenty weird, especially considering how by-the-books most of their pop contemporaries sound in 2014.

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