White Town

Women in Technology

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Jyoti Mishra's second full-length album under the "band" name White Town continues the move away from the indie guitar pop of his earliest releases, first seen on 1996's Abort Retry Fail? EP. Simply recorded, mostly on a Macintosh computer in Mishra's bedroom, with Mishra playing everything except four tracks' worth of guitar, there's a pleasantly homemade feel to the album; hand percussion, piano, and acoustic guitars coexist with the synths and samplers, but even the few entirely electronic tracks have a warm, organic vibe. The album's best-known track, of course, is the enormous hit "Your Woman," a playful piece of gender-bending built around samples from Lew Stone's 1932 jazz hit "My Woman" and the static that opens the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." An infectious piece of pure synth pop, "Your Woman" sounds like it could have been released on Rough Trade around 1981. It's an entirely atypical track, though. Most of the rest of Women in Technology consists of low-key, soft pop songs like the tender, almost jazzy "A Week Next June" and the romantic opener "Undressed." Other songs, like the puckish "The Function of the Orgasm" and "Theme for an Early Evening American Sitcom," have the D.I.Y. feel of White Town's earlier records, albeit with a more synthesized tone. Women in Technology is a good-to-great album, though it's easy to see how the masses charmed by "Your Woman" might have been disappointed by that track's lack of resemblance to the rest of the album.

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