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I Hear, I See, I Learn,
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This review is from: Audio, Video, Disco. (Audio CD)
After the adrenaline-filled house antics of "Cross", "Audio, Video, Disco" understandably ruffled a few feathers, because it's a great shift in focus. But it's a great shift. AVD (as I shall call it henceforth) has a lot more to do with 70s synth pop than French house music. If Daft Punk had gone in a different direction, I could see them making something in this genre. The title means "I Hear, I See, I Learn" and it's so fitting. This album is not in-your-face like its (awesome) forerunner, but a cracking listen that stands on its own merits.
I'll be honest, I have never been a fan of the first two tracks, "Horsepower" and "Civilization", both of whom sound anthemic and big but rarely grab me. It's first with the low-key "Ohio" that magic really begins to reveal itself. The song is simpler than even the simplest on "Cross", and is light and breezy, yet oh so captivating. Why "Canon" had to be split in two tracks is anyone's guess, but both parts are very catchy.
It's from track 6 onwards, however, when AVD really becomes a winner. "On'N'On" is one of my favourites, with a steady beat and a gripping melody that's interestingly centered on the singer. Racing from "Brianvision" all the way through the supersonic closing track is a gamut of winners. "New Lands" has a very catchy chorus and "Helix" ought to delight even the most jaded "Cross" fans.
AVD is a very brave, successful shift in tone. It doesn't try to be a "Cross: Part 2", but rather a stand-alone work that does the synth pop genre (fused with some rock tones) proud.