Glenn Love Cruel Utopia

Cruel Utopia is a strong fourth album from this one-man dark electronic/ambient project from Toronto, and from the first track the clean, polished programming stands out. With no vocals to get in the way, the songs remain simple but not amateur. There's a bit of a retro feel to Cruel Utopia, but it is updated with a current flavour of ambient and trip-hop - sort of Yello meets Kruder and Dorfmeister, but much darker, of course. Clocking in at about 30 minutes, this disc is the perfect length for ambient music of this variety, as a lengthier effort could turn it into background music. The intensity of Love's work shows through, but the edge is definitely mellow. (Independent)