PNAU : Soft Universe
Rarely a band openly admits to aiming for commercialism and marketability; thumbs up to Pnau for being honest. In their purposefully most accessible album to date, Soft Universe is full of electro-pop power hits with global appeal. Nick Littlemore has more fingers in different musical pies than is imaginable, including currently writing the score for Cirque de Soleil in Paris. (I still think Teenager, with Pip Brown, was his best collaboration.)
However, the most jaw-gaping thing about Pnau right now is that Elton John, yes - the Elton John! - is their mentor after personally seeking them out while he heard their tunes on his last Oz visit. So, it's no wonder that the album is glamorous, expansive and grandeur-soaked. For example, Solid Ground is a dance anthem turned pure pop track, grounded only by the masculine vocals.
Self-described as a 'more structured' release than their previous efforts, the tracks on Soft Universe have been intricately manipulated to attract maximum attention and appeal to the widest possible audience. Some may say that this is disappointing, given their independent label beginnings way back in 1999. But, if successful, we can look forward to seeing some Aussie music back on international radars à la Kylie and INXS.
Best track: Solid Ground, Twist Of Fate
If you like this, you'll like: EMPIRE OF THE SUN, TEENAGER, MIAMI HORROR, DAVID BOWIE
In a word: Super-charged