For once, it's not from Sweden that the new electro/pop sensation comes from, but from another scandinavian country, Denmark. The synthpop duo's vocal comes from a blonde lady who's got a good voice and they've called themselves Electric Lady Lab. But to call them the danish Lady Gaga would be too cliché... Stine Hjelm Jacobsen and Martin Bøge Pedersen are more than that !
Even though they started back in 2009 releasing their first single It's over now, they seem to gain international attention from the blogosphere because of their Snap Rhythm is a dancer sampled new single You and me. Truth is their first album Flash! has just been released too and it's a winner from track 1 to its end and after downloading off 7digital, I've decided to even order my CD via cdon.com asap. Made of eleven electro popsongs mixed with retro synthpop, 90's eurodance inspiration, catchy melodies, brilliant lyrics and sensitive vocals, I've fallen deep for this Flash!.
Last virgin alive starts it with an electronic pulsating rhythm building a wall of sound a la Giorgio Moroder for Stine's vocals. The "Where are you" melodic lines is very catchy and makes way for the chorus that sounds like a siren's chant lost in the middle of a music heritage of 80's best coldwave.
Next track is current single You and me and as soon as the intro starts we recognize the Snap anthem's music. The new melody and lyrics are build all around the original Rhythm is a dancer backing track and the chorus line "the streets are lonely" should have led to the song's title for me : Lonely streets would have fitted it better than You and me if you wanna know my opinion... But the result is incredible : catchy and addictive, and very sexy too, when Stine's deep breathings lead to the bridge where her vocals are stronger than ever before an emotional and stirring end. An acoustic version backed up with guitar reminiscent of Sagi-Rei's version from a couple of years ago is to find on the single package and I would have loved to find it at the end of the album's tracklisting as a bonus... Even without the Rhythm is a dancer sample and stripped to the bone, the song is a hit !
I follow you is next in line and the rhythm is electrified, even more upbeat with retro sound effects a la Depeche Mode. "I follow you into the night whoever you are" she sings in a haunting voice that remembers me of Kate Bush. This one is moving but I won't see it getting a single release.
Next one's a surehit single and it must be the one I love the most from this album : Dancing with a ghost is another 80's influenced electro pop jewel, very upbeat with a chorus that's über catchy. I can't get enough of it and sing along every time on the "I am dancing with a ghost, dancing with a boy I used to know". The instrumental break sounds maybe too retro for mass medias, with Erasure kind of synthé loops before vocoderized sampled vocals, but it makes me think of my youth in the 80's and of all this music I still listen to nowadays.
Let go is more laid-back, with a hush-hush mid-tempo instrumental ; nice album track and pause inbetween the upbeat numbers.
Depeche Mode revival time #2 ! Flash starts and it makes me feel of the Just can't get enough melodic line, except in truth, it sounds more like Yazoo's Situation... On this one, I feel though that Stine's voice makes me think of Deborah Harry as it sounds more raw and rock. The lyrics about "gettin' on her knees and pray" because "they say he's gay" remembers me of Starmania's Ziggy theme and with the proper remix, it could easily get them cross over in the clubs.
Wondering is next and apparently the next single too. I'd say it is a good choice as it must be the most instant pop song from the album, with not too much retro sounding new wave in it. Very upbeat, it has a strong repetitive chorus ("have we danced for last time, I'm wondering...") and catchy melody. I especially like the 90's vocal dubbing break that brings a big smile on my face. Well, maybe it does sound retro synthpop too.
Dangerous follows with a heavy rhythm and once more Depeche Mode influences to me. I don't know what to think of this one's future potential as the verses are inoffensive and low-key, but the chorus is, once again, very catchy "your beauty is dangerous, you keep me hangin' on..." it goes and it sticks to your brain, proving that in the charts, this song too would be ...dangerous.
AAAAHHHHHHH!!! I forgot about this one when I said Dancing with a ghost was the one I liked the most... When Fascinated's intro starts, I forget all previous tracks to only think of this Company B cover version that mixes a PWL inspired rhythm loop (like Pete Hammond uses on his recent retro mixes) with the original freestyle ambiance. So Fascinated fascinates me but I must not forget it is not one of their original songs so I'll stick to what I said for Dancing with a ghost being my prefered original song by Electric Lady Lab.
A pulsating nearly oriental mid-tempo rhythm opens up for Imagination and once again, even if I have nothing wrong to say about it, I'd only say it is another nice album track for me... But all songs on a CD can't be singles, isn't it? Or this CD would be called a Greatest Hits, and it must be a little too early in a career when it is their first release...
The album ends with their first single from 2009, It's over now and as their sound is retro and 80's inspired, it doesn't sound dated at all. It even has more electro pop in it than retro synthpop. The duo seems to have taken a deeper breath into their 80's memories before working further for their album, and this ain't no shame as it builds their sound from their tribute to the music they loved from the 80's to 90's. The title suits this end of album perfectly as it is already the end.
If you want to know more and listen/watch their music, go to their MySpace page :