Gus Gus takes yet another step away from the trip-hop and dance-pop of their late-‘90s output with Forever, a continuation of their discofied 2002 release Attention. Gus Gus’ sound has evolved as their lineup has expanded and shrunk like a Shrinky Dink, but there hasn’t been much creative growth in the five years since their last album. This time around things are even less accessible, with hooks and vocals playing second fiddle to repetitive synth lines, bouncing basslines, and techno beats. Singer Earth breathes some life into tracks like “You’ll Never Change,” “Need In Me,” and “Sweet Smoke,” and the hooks, as always, are surprisingly memorable thanks to similar, repetitive melodies. The repetition, however, is numbing on the often too-long instrumental tracks—and this is coming from someone who owns more than a few trance mix CDs. These songs are more techno than disco; there’s nothing decadent about “Porn” or “Demo 54,” the title of which, even if it was Gus Gus’s 54th demo, only conjures up images of the famous NYC club and then fails to deliver. While Forever‘s got a strong beat, it often lacks a pulse.
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