I've found out about this album through the EN website, so I came to it as an EN/Blixa fan. And as an EN/Blixa fan I was instantly delighted.
Of course, music is not the same. But then again, if you've been with the band throughout its career and enjoy the latest albums just as much as the old, noisy ones, you're probably the kind of person who's musical sensitivity runs quite parallel with what this duo has on offer. First, and foremost, it's Blixa's voice, of course. And while I thought that I've heard by now every possible thing that voice can do, there are still surprises here. No, not the shrieks, but the muted, singing voice, slightly different to the one I know so well from the Neubauten.
And then there's the music which seems to marry the temperaments of those two gentlemen (there are some examples of Mr. Teardo's solo projects on Spotify for example). A little bit electronic, a little bit experimental, a little bit avant-garde, with a hearty dose of strings (predominantly cello). In atmosphere it did make me think a little about some of the Michael Nyman's soundtracks, there might be a bit of Belanescu Quartet here as well.
The result is intriguing, sublime and sophisticated. Works well in the car, but even better when you just sit down and listen. We seem to have not enough time to do things like that these days, but Still Smiling is definitely an album worth that little bit of effort.