Brooks

You, Me and Us

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

Your beloved house has just received a fresh coat of paisley-patterned purple paint courtesy of Andy Brooks, a Derby youngster who celebrates the exit of his teenage years with an addictive combination of crafty, minimal house and sly early-'80s R&B refractions. The most delightful moments of You, Me and Us come from the vocal tracks that take cues from Minneapolis' '80s funk-pop scene and combine them with lyricism that rivals Was (Not Was)' obscene levels of absurdity. "Colour Me Bad"'s windswept sway resembles the Family's "Screams of Passion," made with serpentine rhythmic elements and woozy synth textures. "Dripping in Gold" glides by on a sleek chug and a falsetto vocal orgy that kicks out random lines that are hardly related to one another, while "Mastermix" has you thinking about a missing Evelyn "Champagne" King instrumental until yet another co-ed gathering of vocalists arrives to deliver a pisstake of the sushi-eating, blow-snorting high life. It's not all giggles, however. The title track, sung in an arresting, matter-of-fact manner by Herbert associate Dani Siciliano, opens the album with thoughts of infatuation and mutilation. Later on, "Wandering" (featuring Siciliano once again) pulls the flow of the record down from delirium back into a somber setting -- it also lays on another dimension with the kind of blippy-burpy cutup techniques mastered by Herbert and Akufen. Excepting a couple nondescript tracks, the whole is a remarkable accomplishment for a producer of any age. It sounds like it was produced by someone who has spent no time pondering the difference between deep and shallow house. Purists be damned, You, Me and Us is a minor revelation in a sea of retrograde tail-chasing. Brooks should have no problem coasting by on his refreshing approach, his warped imagination, and his odd sense of humor for a long time to come.

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