October 14, 2011
Album Review: Xeno & Oaklander - 'Sets & Lights'
Hypnotic shared vocals and delicious melodies
7 / 10 Bands drawing on ’80s synth-pop have hardly been scarce these last few years, but the latest missive from New Yorkers [a]Xeno & Oaklander[/a] is not the work of dilettantes. Liz Wendelbo and Sean McBride have the Human League/Thomas Dolby textures down to a tee but, crucially, they haven’t skimped on the songwriting, and ‘[b]Blue[/b]’ and ‘[b]Autumn’s Edge[/b]’, with their hypnotic shared vocals, revolve around delicious melodies. The industrial edges of 2009’s ‘[b]Sentinelle[/b]’ have been smoothed out in favour of a Giorgio Moroder pulse, while the Italo-tinged ‘[b]Italy[/b]’ arrives just in time to be a balmy late-summer hit, if a rather unimaginatively titled one.
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