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Sure to be big in 2009 - but try before you buy
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.