Alphabeat

"Fascination"

> > Mar 04 2008

Alphabeat - "Fascination"
By Cam LindsayAt what point does "too corny” become the embodiment of cool? Meet Alphabeat, the point at which "too corny” becomes the embodiment of cool. They’re from Denmark (but now live in London), they’re really, really into pretty colours and they’re possibly the most unnecessarily giddy band on the planet. And they have a name so contrived (A play on "alphabet” emphasising their massive beat? Or Alphaville – ville + the Beat – the = Alphabeat?) it’s almost too perfect for them. (Original name: Sodastar. Yikes.) Like countrymen Junior Senior, you’ll either think they’re brilliant or absolutely, positively nauseating. Obviously, I think they’re brilliant.

Pushing that Scandinavian pop stereotype to its utmost extreme, the sextet have no shame, aping all of the most overzealous ideas and trends of the ’80s and then taking things a little too far. Is it ironic? I don’t even know! But they get away with being so sickeningly sanguine by name-dropping shit-cool artists like Daft Punk, the Tough Alliance, Of Montreal and Kid Sister as their favourites on MySpace. However, more explicable are their influences: Chic, Wham!, the Pointer Sisters, the B-52’s and Let’s Dance-era Bowie.

In fact, new/old single "Fascination” (out March 3 via EMI in the UK and taken from their self-titled album) sounds a lot like Bowie’s "Modern Love,” had it been covered by Richard Simmons, his twin sister and a rehabbed gang of Oldies sweathogs. Or maybe how Mogwai’s Happy Music For Happy People should have sounded, if those disgruntled Glaswegians were actually sincere instead of sardonic. Vocalists Anders and Stine are the most adorable duetting couple since Travolta and Newton-John, swinging with the same high school innocence on a set leftover from some Easter special, and singing nonsensical gems like "Fascination, it’s just the way we feel.” Umm… yeah, me too.

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