THIS IS NORMAL
ALBUM 4AD RELEASE: APRIL 26, 1999 REVIEW: MAY 22, 1999
Icelandic techno collective Gus Gus gained a lot of attention when their debut album "Polydistortion" was released two years ago. Personally, I was not very impressed by that record, but at least it had some songs with a melancholic beauty, as well as some enjoyable sharp electronics and well programmed drum beats.
The new Gus Gus album "This Is Normal" almost totally lacks that. Gus Gus have moved towards more conventionally structured pop music, and have also become more boring. I like the sixties organ of the single "Ladyshave", and there are times when the often ambient sounding frameworks of the songs have a nice laidback feel towards them, but just as often it plainly feels cowardly safe. The most disturbing parts of "This Is Normal" however are the nonsense lyrics. And in "Starlovers", Gus Gus ends up dangerously close to pathetic hippie rockers like the Levellers. And that is NOT a good grade.