Parallels XII

Parallels XII
The least glamorous thing about Parallels remains the fact that their sophomore LP, XII, was recorded, mastered and released by vocalist Holly's father, Stampeders guitarist Rich Dodson. A former pop singer, Dodson formed Parallels with ex-Crystal Castles drummer Cameron Findlay, creating a Goldfrapp-esque image appropriately accented by her wispy vocals and the glimmering synth-beats. On XII, Dodson is joined by brother Nick on drums (replacing Findlay), while taking a larger role in not just the songwriting, but production as well. Over a dozen star-making bangers, Dodson plays the electro-goddess role flawlessly on both wax and paper, and on songs like the revved-up space disco of "Ritual Dancer" and the dated Hi-NRG of "Love & Devotion," it's apparent that Dodson is a proficient student of dance music's rich and varied history. But it's this same, bookish approach that makes so much of XII come off so erudite, starchy and devoid of diva-sized fun. (Marigold)