Cosmo Vitelli

Clean

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AllMusic Review by

This release will be obstinately viewed as Astralwerks foray into the hyper-trendy electro-clash scene. And the first two songs on Cosmo Vitelli's second album Clean make a strong case for this misperception as they lock onto the singsong Europop reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys if only Felix da Housecat had done their analog synth programming. Mercifully, the Frenchman has little use for stark calculated vocals that plague most cookie cutter releases of this sub-genre, instead allowing for a more traditional pop approach. But beyond the opening volley, there is very little to suggest any sort of band-wagon jumping by Vitelli. At least, not onto any current bandwagons. "Perfect Lies" and "People Should Think, Machines Should Work" echo the wispy funk of Air, while the guitar meets bubblegum beat of "Alias" could be coming straight from Justin Timberlake. Whether or not this is a good thing depends on if you have the ironic sensibility to acknowledge pop as musically more than MTV fodder. The album closes with the drifting "The Sleep Lab," which barely rises above some angel hair sound effects. Certainly not the sort of thing that fashionistas or radio-programmers jump on. Vitelli scores points for looking the trend-monster in the eye and staring it down.

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