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GAUTAM MAHAJAN
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Ice On The Dune by Empire Of The Sun, Capitol

Rs. 500 approx (MP3)

Australian electro-pop band Empire Of The Sun’s (EOTS) second release Ice On The Dune , is a definite upgrade on its debut Walking On A Dream . EOTS has not changed its sound drastically, but there is a definite purpose to the songwriting, and the album is definitely more technically polished. The extremely catchy choruses, high BPM, easy-to-remember lyrics, and overall danceable melodies create a sound that can be best described as a love child of Duran Duran and modern EDM.

The songs by themselves are very club-friendly; so don’t be surprised if you hear a remix or two in the club or on the EDM radio stations. EOTS has crafted an album that is clearly a throwback to the synth-pop of the 1980s, with cheesy riffs and textures, combines with filtered vocals and choruses, albeit with a modern touch.

Some of the stand-out tracks in this album are ‘DNA’ — it starts off with a riff very similar to a popular house track, and sucks you into its extremely catchy and memorable chorus. The title track is probably the most cheerful tune you will hear in a while, with yet another catchy chorus that is easy to sing along to. ‘Awakening’ is a strongly retro-influenced track that sounds like a modern-day take on Duran Duran’s ‘Come Undone’ without sounding like a knock-off — a feat that’s not easy to pull off.

In fact, most of the songs follow a similar pattern; melodious verses and catchy upbeat choruses that have a big release — a style that is very reminiscent of progressive trance — playing under an overlying pop structure. And while the music may not be ground-breaking for the most part of its 43-minute playtime, it is guaranteed to keep you dancing to the infectious beat.

However, the album does have its weak moments. The self-indulgent instrumental intro ‘Lux’ is just out of place in this set, as is the final track ‘Keep A Watch’, a down-tempo introspective song that sticks out like a sore thumb. ‘Surround Sound’, too, felt like a bit of a filler track. However, these flaws don’t hurt the final product, which is a fantastic album that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

In conclusion, Ice On The Dune is the most fun album I’ve heard in a long time. While it’s far from perfect and not something everyone would enjoy, those who allow themselves to indulge in guilty pleasure will find the sweet, sticky tunes playing in their heads for a long time to come.

GAUTAM MAHAJAN


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