Sound 5

No Illicit Dancing

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Those with our ears ever glued to British radio recognize two of the Sound 5 stoners as vets of the rave-pop one-hit wonders Candy Flip. Since then they've fronted a half-dozen dancefloor contagions, taken over various English clubs and erected their own label from their farm-based headquarters. This is many hectares' worth of fun, sunny, kissy-face near-pop that apparently was years in the making, bearing the stamp of many contributions but finally achieving something like an aesthetic. Tunes for the sophisticated adolescent include "Future's Bright" and "Tom the Moon." But the boys at Sound 5 can no sooner suppress their pop leanings than they can douse their love for disco, or, apparently, acid-gospel: "The Hacienda Must Be (Re)Built" foregrounds the ultratronic background, and "Smile" is a Lear Jet of ambient supernovas. Reining it all in is the job of these pop harvesters, having fun in the great English psycho-pastoral tradition, from the fruit flavors of "Go" to the Syd-Barrett-esque naughtiness of "Ala Kaboo." A near-flawless album of fluffy, happy, danceable goo.

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