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Client: Client

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if you like this you'll like (and get much more out of): Matmos, Manitoba, The Postal Service, Prefuse 73, I Am Robot And Proud, Peaches, The Magnetic Fields.

REVIEW: Client: Client
9.25.2003 by Kevin

Client: Client [Mute/Toast Hawaii, 2003] (mp3s)

Three words? Get a nail...

Can we get another nail in the coffin of electroclash? Please? Client's self-titled full length is yet another in a long line of 80s throwback synthpop that does little to distinguish itself from the legions of releases that have come before it. Ransacking the Human League trashbin for beats and adding non-descript, monotone European accented vocals on top, Client have created an album that is already passe yet so absurdly committed and lacking any humor as to be laughable. Is this for real? Is this ironic? Is it even worth finding out?

As I was listening to this, my girlfriend walked into the room and and noted how apathetic this sounds, from the uninspired beats to the unintentionally hilarious vocals. Are these pulled from a teenager's diary? "Sugar Candy Kisses" has one of the anonymously named Client girls singing in deadpan: "I believe there's a certain place / High above the skies is a secret space / I want you to say I want you to fee l / Me and you are here where love is real." This is the bad poem you wrote to you first crush. In grade three. Andrew W.K. is no lyrical genius but when he sings at least you know it's coming from a deadly sincere place - and you can't help but at least admire him for that. With the enthusiasm that these girls put behind the mic, they might as well be reading stock quotes or reciting recipes. These soulless tracks are so hidden behind artifice and so concerned with meeting the requirements of an electroclash record that the result is a passionless excerise. I wish I could say this was self-indulgent or masturbatory, but I can't as I honestly don't think that even that much effort was invested in it.

A few months ago I tore apart Fischerspooner's disc, #1 for the same reasons that this disc is receiving an even lower review: indistinguishable tracks and fashion over quality. At the very least, Fischerspooner had a pretentious (though insulting) goal behind their music. I wish I could say that Client had some sort of mission in accomplishing on this record, but it seems they don't.

There is a whole world out there of people taking electronic music to new, exciting places. Prefuse 73, Manitoba, Dntel and Matmos – among many others – are taking cues from their 70s and 80s forefathers (Kraftwerk, Weather Report, Human League, Gary Numan) and infusing it with life, heart and imagination. Client's full length is a cold, heartless affair best suited for the frowning, yet completely dolled-up boys and girls, sipping their drinks at the bar, wondering why everyone on the dance floor seems to be having more fun than they are.

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