Mouse On Mars have always been unique among their peers: heavily conceptual, ornately arranged, and totally unpredictable, and seventh album Radical Connector--a more danceable and altogether lighter album than anything else they've ever done--sees them finally living up to their full potential. There are trace elements of their previous work: the dubby déjà vu of Iaora Tahiti, the mechanical splatter pop of Autoditacker, and plentiful swathes of the jittery insectoid rhythms of previous album Idiology. But Radical is both far stranger and far more accessible than anything they've ever done. The tricky beats and broken rubber band bass line of "Spaceship" make for a song that seems to have been recorded live on a planet where gravity is a novelty and nonsense is a language. Then "Send Me Shivers," a sexy and elegant ballad with fractured voices telling stories about repairing damaged emotions, featuring the heavily processed vocals of singer Niobe, and on "Blood Comes," it's a barbershop quartet of broken toys in the toybox. Lyrically, they're still poking at solipsism, at the unnoticed surreal qualities of the mundane and at a playful brand of anarchism, usually all within the same song. It's pop for people who hate homogeneity and experimental music for people who hate noodling. And this album actually makes the dancefloor--if not the whole world--a lot more bearable.
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