Saint Etienne Words and Music

Saint EtienneWords and Music
London, UK dance pop savants Saint Etienne have finally returned after seven long years, back on their original label, Heavenly. Nearly calling it a day after touring 2005's conceptual Tales from Turnpike House, Bob, Pete and Sarah present Words and Music, another themed album in which the trio explore how music affects your life. "Over the Border" opens the album with its thesis: a nostalgic anecdote written by Bob Stanley that details the joy of experiencing a musical awakening at a young age. The album then paints a portrait of growing up in London as a music lover, going out dancing ("Last Days of Disco," "DJ"), attending gigs ("Tonight"), discovering music ("Record Doctor") and, of course, falling in love (all 13 tracks). By working with Nick Coler (ex-Xenomania), Richard X and frequent collaborator Ian Catt, Saint Etienne's refined dance pop sounds extraordinarily vibrant and relevant, especially considering the group are halfway through their 40s and celebrating 22 years. No one quite does pop music the way these connoisseurs do, and Words and Music further demonstrates this while helping us realize just how lucky we are to still have them around. (Heavenly)