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Simian Mobile Disco - Temporary Pleasure

Simian Mobile Disco, Temporary Pleasure

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

SIMIAN Mobile Disco have brought in the big guns for their latest album Temporary Pleasure but, alas, it’s pleasures are really only fleeting.

James Ford (of Klaxons, Arctic Monkeys fame) produces, while guest vocalists include Gruff Rhys, Beth Ditto, Jamie Lidell and Alexis Taylor. There’s even more of an emphasis on songs rather than dance cuts.

But while there are moments to savour, you may still feel curiously underwhelmed by the time you reach the end of it. And it’s difficult to put your finger on the biggest problem.

Album opener Cream Dream sets things off in decent fashion, a propulsive slice of electronica ushering the listener into a song that’s buoyed by Gruff Rhys’ gruff but distinct vocals. You could even convince yourself you were listening to a Chemical Brothers cut.

It’s followed by Audacity of Huge, with Chris Keating. A former single and huge dancefloor filler, it’s OK if repetitive and minimalist. But it grows on you.

10000 Horses Can’t Be Wrong, though, is a blip-laden, minimalist effort that’s more old-skool party than anything really inspiring and it tends to get a little boring, while Beth Ditto’s throaty lament on Cruel Intentions does little to re-ignite the album’s fires in spite of her best efforts.

Off The Map, featuring Jamie Lidell, also underperforms in spite of a more aggressive tempo and a darker employment of the synthetic effect.

In fact, the album finds itself stuck in second gear until Alexis Taylor sets her vocals over a woozy, warped slice of electronica and some snappy beats on Bad Blood (a rare highlight), and Young Fathers lend proceedings a hip-hop vibe that’s more akin to the Black Eyed Peas mixed with Eminem on Turn Up The Dial. There’s even a trace of an Eastern influence to broaden the album’s scope.

But Ambulance returns the LP to formula and has to rate among the most bland dance tracks on it, before things rally considerably for the Pinball finale featuring Telepathe. It’s another highlight, benefiting from Telepathe’s seductive vocals and a loopy beat that’s among the more catchy, but it’s too late to save Temporary Pleasure from becoming another dance disappointment.

Download picks: Cream Dream, Pinball, Bad Blood

Track listing:

  1. Cream Dream – Simian Mobile Disco & Gruff Rhys
  2. Audacity Of Huge – Simian Mobile Disco & Chris Keating
  3. 10000 Horses Can’t Be Wrong
  4. Cruel Intentions – Simian Mobile Disco & Beth Ditto
  5. Off The Map – Simian Mobile Disco & Jamie Lidell
  6. Synthesise
  7. Bad Blood – Simian Mobile Disco & Alexis Taylor
  8. Turn Up The Dial – Simian Mobile Disco & Young Fathers
  9. Ambulance
  10. Pinball – Simian Mobile Disco & Telepathe