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4.8 out of 5 stars
53
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 July 2013
If you liked their 1st album then you'll love this one
It is just a continuation of their very distinctive yet genius style every bit as good as walking on a dream
I could go through the track listings 1 by 1 but there is no need, the first is a short instrumental which have never really done anything for me because I'm one of those that loves to sing along in the car!! The last track is my least favourite, but still a good tune, and every thing in between is absolutely exceptional!!
If you like this or their 1st album and you haven't got 'lovers' by 'the sleepy Jackson' then I highly recommend that you buy that too
I dont often pre order a cd without hearing any of it first, but with this I'm so glad that i did,
Worth every penny!!
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on 24 June 2013
1. Lux - Ever the exhibitionists, the album opens on a mystical sounding instrumental filled with rolling drums, grand and illuminating keyboards and an atmosphere that's a bit Egyptian tinged. Very ominous yet epic. It could be considered a bit unnecessary but at least it's short and interesting. 3/5

2. DNA - Basically the We Are The People of this new album and therefore, an absolute highlight. Urgent acoustic chord swipes mesh with joyous vocals before the hammering drums and swaggering synth come in and steps things up a few hundred notches. The chorus is amazing. 5/5

3. Alive - A wildly joyous and anthemic dance number. Fuelled by pretty falsetto vocals which are sung in a chanted fashion and a passionate, wide eyed chorus. A triumphant feel good number. 5/5

4. Concert Pitch - The verse has a punchy drumbeat, rigid and woozy keyboards and confident, lovestruck vocals. It has a catchy chord progression. The chorus is a sugary, fantastic spectacle with softly sung, yearning vocals. Lovely song. 5/5

5. Ice On The Dune - Verses are a bit meandering and simplistic compared to previous songs. It sounds like Waiting For A Star To Fall for a split second just before the chorus (just a random observation there!). Chorus is very good although it feels a bit too grounded and didn't lift off like I thought it would. Good dance number though. 4/5

6. Awakening - Opens with a slinky, funky disco tempo. More laidback than previous songs. It strides rather than soars. It's all a bit forgettable though and it's the first song on the album that I got bored of before the end. 3/5

7. I'll Be Around - Relaxed, soft groove with gently howling guitars and atmospheric, echoing vocals. Dreamy chorus comes in and washes over you with its shimmering magic. Reminded me a bit of The Police. Very 80's. 4/5

8. Old Flavours - Back into conventional dance territory. A brief buildup leads into a great big smackdown of drums and a catchy earworm melody layered with beautifully intertwined synth melodies. Near the end there is a very theatrical breakdown with a rising and falling keyboard line before lunging back into the euphoric main song thread. Not as much vocals as the other tracks but a banging tune all the same. 5/5

9. Celebrate - The song starts off good but gets a bit tiresome and monotonous after a while. The verse is average with vocoder vocals reminiscent of Daft Punk and chorus is nothing special either as it essentially a minor reworking of the verse. One of the weaker tracks. 3/5

10. Surround Sound - Angular rhythm with skittering drums, less dancey. Didn't really work for me, it was quite average. 3/5

11. Disarm - After the last few mediocre efforts, things pick up thanks to a strong melody and an immense chorus. Opens on an icy synth riff that mirrors the chorus vocal line. Extremely catchy. Great stuff. 4/5

12. Keep A Watch - The slowest song on the album and caps the album off on a drifting ballad note just as `Without You' closed the previous album. It's pleasant enough with its heartaching verse chord progression and the gorgeous atmosphere. Chorus isn't as good though. A nice song but not outstanding. 3/5

SUMMARY: A great dance album that becomes a tiny bit shaky and inconsistent towards the end due to a few noble but inferior experiments. But the brilliant tracks make this album a more than worthwhile purchase and if you give it a chance, you'll most likely find your soundtrack for this summer and many more to come!

HIGHLIGHTS
-DNA
-Alive
-Concert Pitch
-Odd Flavours
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on 23 September 2013
A bit more homogenous and hence not as quirky (and therefore possibly not quite as interesting) as the previous album.

That said, still a good album with a distinct antipodean sound.

However, I selected my CD copy by name with the autorip filter option enabled - the item that it selected was actually supplied by "fulfillment express" (who the **** are they?) and not by amazon, hence no autorip supplied.

Amazon need to fix their filter ! Complaint registered.
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on 15 July 2014
I'm of a certain age and so I've heard a lot of music in my time and can sort the wheat from the chaff if you know what I mean. The track 'We are people' was out five years ago when my mum died and it resonates with me in a sad but positive way, which in fact typifies their last album. This album is different, more uplifting, more of a celebration of life carrying on. I'm not a shrink but this album is a cure for the blues and should be commended for the bright musical canvass it presents. These guys do it for me and you'll either love it or hate it, but from a musical standpoint they are to Fleetwood Mack, what Oasis are to the Beatles. You can hear a clear influence, but it still has an originality all of its own. Absolutely love it. Third album please guys. Now.
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on 1 December 2014
Almost as good as Walking on a Dream but without such a stand-out track as the brilliant " We are the People". Whereas that album is perhaps loaded towards the first half, this is more of an even balance of good songs. Very poppy and catchy, but with a lot more going for it than most of the "pop" music of today which all sounds exactly the same! I am 62 and my tastes range from Yes to Alan Parsons to Josh Groban and I am very glad that I have discovered Empire of the Sun.
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on 28 March 2016
I bought a copy of the album on vinyl to add to my collection and, although it's a good album, the mastering of the LP is quite poor. It doesn't fall into the trap of other more modern releases which only have 3 or 4 songs per side in order to get better bass quality, but I think it goes a bit too far in the other direction and sounds quite 'thin'. This album probably could have done with being split across two discs.
On the plus side, Amazon offers auto-rip so you also get the MP3 copy of the album. The album also comes with a download code inside, which would be fine if the website worked.
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on 8 September 2013
I have there first album which to me was a super piece of music and wondered weather they could follow it up, the answer, is yes they can & have done, you will hear a lot of there music on catwalks & other events like that but they are more than that, they are very talented and the music is different from anyone else, nice keyboards, programing , guitar, orchestration and singing, very upbeat and makes you wanna get up & move. buy this, play it loud and you will enjoy a super piece of music and if you don't have the first album , you will go out and buy it after you have heard this. I can play this over & over again.
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on 9 July 2013
I enjoyed 'some' of their last album, mainly the more commercial tunes to be honest, as some of the B side material was a bit strange. (Maybe I should give it another go). But this album is mostly killer tunes!! Concert pitch is the only song that does hold my interest.

The rest are pretty much amazing pieces of work that should be heard by everyone! Best tracks? DNA or I'll be around. But really, they are all amazing.

Think Scritti Politti, Fleetwood mac, Calvin Harris, and throw in more 80's influence and you will have this album.
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on 1 July 2013
First herd 'Walking On A Dream' on Forza Horizon and instantly fell in love with it and played it non stop. It was only recently that I purchased 'We Are The People' from the same album, and again, I fell in love with it. When I herd about this new album, I immediately became interested in purchasing it. After listening to the songs from the album, it happened all over again. 'Old Flavours', 'Ice On The Dune' and 'DNA' "hit the spot" and I rushed to purchase the album as I was thoroughly impressed with each song. After listening to each song, my liking for the band and the album has only ever increased.

One critism of this album is the price. At £4.99, it damages the quality of this album, as I see this album as priceless. It will always be in my archive of my greatest albums I have herd/ purchased.
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on 26 June 2013
Ice On The Dune is unashamedly a move into more commercial territory than their debut album...

...but cleverly they have ditched some of the more eccentric weirdness of their first album and have kept all of the best elements of their distinctive sound; the beautiful heavy chorused harmonies with cavernous reverb, the uplifting choruses and rhythmic pulses(and don't forget the trademark triangle on "DNA") and then built upon that with a more anthemic sound dance vibe. You could easily imagine some of these being sing along anthems at a summer concert or nightclub; you almost sense that they created the songs with that in mind to appeal to a more mainstream audience.

I can hear subtle influences here from Daft Punk, Pet Shop Boys, Chicane, Above & Beyond, David Bowie, Friendly Fires and even Ellie Goulding but there is so much creativity and uniqueness to Empire of the Sun's sound that this is immaterial. They are having fun paying homage to all of these artists, running with it and just plain having fun with it.

The commercial sound is reinforced by heavy dynamic compression for that 'radio friendly' sound, but unusually for such a heavily 'produced' album the sound quality is truly exceptional, even euphoric on a good hi-fi system.

And unusually for such a commercial album, the whole album is full of strong tracks, with standout tracks "DNA" and "I'll be around" and "Celebrate", but they are all strong and you can listen to it as an album...which will be quite a revelation to younger people who don't know what the word album means...

A joy to listen to over and over again, and that is the ultimate testiment to what Empire of the Sun have achieved here.
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