Madison Avenue

The Polyester Embassy

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AllMusic Review by

It may be that a full-length album is not the ideal format for dance music. That's what Madison Avenue members Cheyne Coates and Andy Van (aka Andrew van Dorsselaer) seem to imply in their hopelessly pretentious "This Is Your Introduction," the spoken word commentary that begins their debut album The Polyester Embassy, when they dispute the notion that the 12" single is "an antiquated storage system" and instead call it "the trademark of a new generation." Certainly, The Polyester Embassy would work better as a collection of 12" singles scattered through an evening's worth of dancefloor activity, since, laid end to end, the tracks are so similar. Over and over, Coates and Van come up with the same tempo, the same thudding beat, the same rhythm, and that becomes enervating pretty fast. The only changes of pace are more humorous interludes than actual songs. Madison Avenue has gained dancefloor attention in its native Australia, Great Britain, and the U.S. both for its retro beats and for Coates chip-on-her-shoulder lyrics. In "Don't Call Me Baby," she declares, "Behind my smile is my IQ," but she doesn't demonstrate that that IQ is very high, especially on other songs that have a sex kitten eroticism. Madison Avenue has demonstrated an ability to create dance tracks, but not a complete album, with their debut release.

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