Endorphin

Skin

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Endorphin's previous album, Embrace, caused a massive stir on the Australian music scene. Here, finally, was an electronic record on par with the best the British had to offer. The French-born Queenslander became one of the most revered artists in the country, and the expectations surrounding this release, Skin, were massive. So does Skin measure up to Embrace? Well, it's certainly very different: more direct, a shade less intricate, and thus easier to get into. In the long run, however, it's probably not quite as rewarding. It certainly offers a decent range of sounds, including sultry female vocals, exotic samples, hypnotic trip-hop arrangements, and brooding basslines. Out of the plethora of tracks featured on this CD, there are no obvious fillers. On the other hand, it's really tough to pick the standout numbers. There is probably nothing quite as momentous as "Relapse" or "Embrace," the key tunes on the previous album. The chilled-out title track, "Skin," comes pretty darn close, though. This album is the second released by Endorphin as part of a five-record deal with Sony. It will be interesting to see where the Aussie pioneer takes his audience during the next three installments of his electronic adventure.

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