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4.4 out of 5 stars81
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 15 March 2009
Didn't know what to expect when buying this, but I'm glad I did. They have a really unique, immediately likeable sound. It's a strange mix of 80s pop, indie and synth stuff, and can get a little samey, but the songs each have their own blend of magic and it's really interesting to listen to.

It's a must buy.
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on 3 February 2009
I bought this album last year on import after being captivated by the video for "walking on a dream" and so have been listening to it for a couple of months now. I think Empire of the Sun will be to 2009 what MGMT were to 2008. This quirky Australian duo draw from a wide template of influences, mainly pop, electronic, and 80s soft-rock. They are already on many people's radar due to placing 4th in the BBCs "Sound of 2009", along with their spectacular concept videos for "Walking on a dream" and "We are the people" doing the rounds on internet. They are bound to be the darlings of the hipster music magazines and I predict that the aforementioned singles will be the sound-track to this summer. However, like MGMT, while the album has a handful of absolute top-drawer potential singles (the latter two, plus "Half Mast" and "Standing on the shore"), which will probably be the catchiest thing you will here all year, overall I would say the album is of patchy quality. "Country" is a nice chilled out instrumental, and "Swordfish Hotkiss night" raises the bar slightly again with its take on Prince styled funk, but there really is nothing else on offer of the quality of the first 4 tracks. My recommendation is to download the first 4 songs, but make sure you check out the rest prior to purchasing. Empire of the Sun are sure to be huge in 2009, and as artists with a fantastic vision, art direction, and potential mega hit singles they deserve it, but the album just isn't the world beater I was hoping for.

3.5 stars
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on 18 March 2009
Id been listening to this album online and a family member downloaded it for me ..~I enjoyed it so much i finally decided to have a copy for the car.Then i can play it for other friends who may in turn like it.
I find this album very good in fact excellant and a change from the british groups as they come from Australia. I recommend to everyone.
Its a hit with my family and me so give it a whirl..
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on 24 May 2009
Walking on a Dream is a flambouyant and high spirited blend of gaudy multi-layred stream of consciousness lyrics, a little snip of prog ('Delta Bay' especially reminds me of Yes's 'Going for the One') a generous shake of '80s style synths and drums and a whole big dollop of sheer joyous fun.

The whole album is full of driving energy, and playfulness; from the anthemic strains of the singles ('Walking on a Dream' and 'We are the People' - the latter my particular favourite) interspersed with the really funky ('Swordfish Hotkiss Night')the dreamy (the instrumental 'Country')to the hugely melodic,and rhythmic ('Standing on the Shore') all informed by the elided drawl of Luke Steele's supple voice which I really like.

In many ways, this album also reminds me of Kate Bush's 'The Dreaming' (another 80s reference!)- really pounding rythms, a lot of sweetness and melody and a total committment it's own vision - which may not always confrom to what the prevailing wisdom is. Not everything on the album is as instantly accessible as the singles. But surrender to the sheer energetic joy of it, don't be too serious. You'll have a great time.
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on 29 January 2011
The majority of those who buy the experimental duo's Walking on A Dream album will buy it solely for the albums excellent array of singles. The album overall is reminiscent of MGMT's recent offerings. The opener "Standing on the Shore", has a dreamy summer vibe, which is a common theme carried through the rest of the album which is carried of successfully due to Steel's unique voice. The second track "Walking on a Dream", needs no introduction, with its oddball chorus and rich vocals. "Delta Bay", is a true oddity with its schizophrenic indulgence while "We are the People, is a true synth pop great, with a true enigmatic quality. The instrumental, "Country" seems out of place and too sedate for such a theatrical album. Things go further downhill with the dull and indulgent "The World", before everything is saved by by the experimental, bizarre but strangely appealing hip hop/funk song "Swordfish Hotkiss Nights". The album's curtain call "Without You", a downbeat, but likable end to a true roller coaster album. So much of it achieves greatness but the poorer tracks fail to make it a cohesive debut.
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on 29 March 2009
This is a totally different sound and takes a few listens to get into the album. The first 4 tracks are by far the best. The single 'Walking on a Dream' is fantastic and I don't get tired of listening to it. Their latest single 'We are the People' is a real sing-along tune. The rest of the album has some rather quirky tracks but give it a chance and you will come to enjoy it. In any case, I love the album on the strength of the first four tracks alone.
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on 16 January 2010
I heard 'we are the people' on the radio one day and it caught my attention. I thought it was a great song - I still can't put my finger on who this band sound like! Supertramp springs to mind, but even they are not quite as unique as Aussie duo Empire Of The Sun. The first 4 songs on this album are great, especially if like me you were captivated by 'we are the people', as they all have the same feel. However, the rest of the album is a bit disappointing. I quite like the slow tender lyrics in 'without you', but the version they have released recently is more upbeat and lacks the slow, purposeful beat of the album version. I do hate it when bands release a different version of a song to the version that's on their album - it makes me feel slightly ripped off! Saying that, I personally prefer the album version as it's softer and shows another dimension to the duo.

I really hate track 5, it's rubbish and lacks the thought and production that's clearly gone into the other tracks. It sounds lazy and effortless - you'll see what I mean if you hear it. Track 6 is a lovely acoustic song that sounds very chilled out (reminds me of a clear blue sea gently lapping at the shore), but doesn't fit with the rest of the album in my opinion, as it's instrumental . And after that, well, judge for yourself...Track 7 is ok.

This duo could and should have been much more successful, but sadly, I feel a lack of promotion and a lack of communication between the two men responsible (I read they have fallen out) will ensure this band disappears into the pile of artists that never really got the recognition they deserved. Cover artwork is quite amazing though, as are the pages within the booklet. If you like the 'fantasy' look, this will appeal. Must have taken that illustrator hours!
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on 6 January 2011
I got hooked on Empire Of The Sun due to a Vodafone ad here in Germany at the end of 2010 which used the track We Are The People. This led me to look these guys up on You Tube and I liked what I heard so much, I just had to buy the album.

What to say? Eclectic mix of 70s/80s/folky/country/otherworldly sounds that, at times, pull right at the heartstrings. The first four tracks really stand out as being the best of what is all round a wonderfully written, performed and produced piece of work. This is going to be on the loop in the CD player for quite a long time in my house.
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on 15 May 2009
Racing towards 50 years old, I'm listening to Empire of the Sun and my 19 year old daughter is into Bowie, Queen and Alex Harvey! Those were my musical tastes at her age, so I told her that she'd grow into Empire of the Sun. I have listened to this constantly since I bought it, and have grown to like each track bar one, so I reckon that is good value for money. This is as different to chart music as Alex Harvey was from Sweet and Mud etc in the 70's.
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on 2 March 2009
After reading about Empire of the Sun after they finished 4th place on the BBC's 'Sound of 2009', i sought to check out what the hype was all about.

Walking on a Dream, We are the People and Standing on the Shore are the instant stand out tracks that look set to be heard all over TV and radio over the coming year.

Tiger by my Side, 80's R n B/Psychadelic 'Swordfish Hotkiss Night', The twin peaks style instrumental 'Country' and Fantasy Pop 'Half Mast' also deserve credit in an album that you can vision is great to listen to on an open road in your car during the summertime.

The album has a fresh retro sound that mixes Synths and Guitar draws inspiration from Fleetwood Mac, 10cc, Prince and Daft Punk. Luke Steele's voice is very unique, instantly shifting from a Prince-esque deep vocal to a Jake Shears/Barry Gibb style high pitch vocal.

I would say the album is closer to 3.5 out of 5 as I find Delta Bay, The World and Without You a bit too far out for my liking. But the fresh sound Luke and Nick have made deserves a 4.

The Star Wars/Fantasy Film style Album artwork deserves credit as well.
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