Madison Avenue

The Polyester Embassy

by Ben Varkentine

 

This is club music that is hardly cutting-edge, but a solid collection of synths, samples, cymbals and beats on six songs (three of which preceded the album as singles), two alternate mixes, and five pieces of filler. It’s music to get you on the dancefloor, music for parties. As the guy at the party who sits in the kitchen the whole time, I might have preferred some more thoughtful lyrics, but that’s kind of like going to Jennifer Lopez to talk about your ass. I think it’s going to seem as though I am damning Madison Avenue with faint praise here, and I don’t really want to. This is, as I say, a good party/dancefloor album. The early singles have been successful in the US, UK, the bands native Australia, and even Moscow. And deservedly, they are excellent examples of the genre.

It’s just, I guess, that that this music is so of bygone eras, that it seems less likely to last than the records of those eras. Which would you rather listen to, Barry White, Chic, Pet Shop Boys, Thompson Twins and Coldcut (to name successful dance acts of the past three decades), or a project that emulates them, no matter how well? Vocalist Cheyne Coates is possessed of an able if not particularly rich voice, but it is perfectly suited to the aims of this project: While the rhythm sets your feet moving, the melody takes hold of your brain. So this is this years model. It drives around the block as well as the old, and if this is your first car, you’ll never know the difference.

cover art

Madison Avenue

The Polyester Embassy

(C2)

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