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Just before entering a seemingly inescapable cul-de-sac after 2006's Paper Tigers, Sasu Ripatti evades it by throwing Luomo into reverse. Convivial, however, is not quite a revisitation of Vocal City or The Present Lover, two of the most seismic house albums released during the decade. It's the most song-oriented Luomo album, with the lyrical and vocal contributions expanded from Paper Tigers' featured voice, Johanna Iivanainen, to include fellow Europeans Cassy, Sascha Ring, Sue Cie, and an "anonymous" gent named Chubbs, as well as Americans Robert Owens and Scissor Sister Jake Shears. While this varied mix of voices suggests diffuse results, the two least likely collaborators -- Shears and Owens -- are kept, respectively, to tongue-twisting whispers and a series of low-key cut-ups. For its lack of rush-inducing highs and novel sounds, the album is immensely pleasurable, with fleet keyboard vamps and percussive effects that stab and flick ricocheting off pliant, bounding basslines. The only slip is "Nothing Goes Away," damp and squishy 21st century Euro-hip-house that wouldn't stimulate much more in instrumental form.

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