Lindstrøm & Christabelle – Real Life is No Cool

If you’re in the mood for some disco fun, then you should give this LP a spin, that’s for sure.

I can predict that you will love and hate this release in equal measure. Those brought up on strict post-punk orthodoxies will wonder why they are listening to a slick and clever re-hash of Grace Jones and Michael Jackson’s eighties highlights. Maybe the best thing is not to care and enjoy what you can.

Starting off with some incredibly abstract sampled vocals (a strangeness, which on reflection the LP could have benefitted from much more of) opener Looking For What develops into a cross electro futuristic sound-scape. Singer Isabelle Sandoo certainly has a lot of presence and wastes no time in imposing herself where she can, inviting us all to take off our shoes…. The guitar on this track also reminds me of a track off My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. It’s things like this that keep the sensitive soul on track.

Another vocal mash intervenes before on of the undoubted highlights of the record; Lovesick. Again you can write a veritable shopping list of references, but that wouldn’t really be the point. This is music for dancing around the bedroom after a bottle of wine, or sticking on in the car on a summer’s day with the windows down; sensual music there for enjoyment and relaxation. A pretty perfunctory cover of Vangelis’s Let It Happen follows and a slower track, Keep It Up, which is exactly the sort of dreamy synth pop that filled the charts round 1985. At this point, hipsters listening would be wondering just why they are listening…

Salvation comes in a trio of cracking dance tracks, built for frumping around your handbag. Music in My Mind comes on all hard like a DAF work out albeit with a vocals-led chord change that is pure Scritti Politti. Further eighties goodness is worked in with a synth refrain that Associates fans may recognise. No matter, it is classic pop, in that even the unwilling will have to submit to shaking a little rump. Next up is Baby Can't Stop, possibly as close you can get to a Michael Jackson track without being sued. And then – after some more weird sampled vocals, we get the ghost of Giorgio Moroder trampling all over Let’s Practise. Lordy… still, it’s great fun, and you shouldn’t really ask for more.

The ret of the LP can’t really compete with the aforementioned three numbers, the slightly distracted So Much Fun being the most up tempo, but the mash up of Never Say Never (which is the entire LP played through at top speed) and High & Low are woozy, slightly nuts lo-tempo charmers.

If you’re in the mood for some disco fun, then you should give this LP a spin, that’s for sure.