Published Jan 27, 2009Saint Etienne have always been a long distance curiosity for North America. Though once beloved chart-toppers in their native England, the distinct pop aesthetic of Sarah, Bob and Pete never quite translated over here, yet there is certainly a die-hard fan base that treasures whatever music ends up seeing a domestic release. One album that appears destined for import-only doom is the forthcoming London Conversations compilation, which I swear already came out last fall. Out February 2, their umpteenth compilation and fourth singles/greatest hits collection - seriously - appears to be as definitive as a Saint Etienne retrospective can be. Of course, in order to convince us to buy this one, the trio have added a couple of new songs, the first single being the Hall & Oates-biting "Method of Modern Love."
With super-producer Richard X (Annie, Sugababes) behind the desk, the group return to the heavenly post-acid house sound they perfected in the early '90s. Though there isn't any of that spelling Daryl and John boggled minds with back in 1984, the synths sure do spangle, the house beat pulsates at the rate of my excited heart and Ms. Cracknell's voice is as cherubic and lovely as when we first heard her debut on "Nothing Can Stop Us" 18 years ago. Talk about aging gracefully. I hope this is the sign of more new music to come from the legendary South London crew.
Saint Etienne "Method of Modern Love"