Baikonour For the Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos

The lovely, eclectic mind of Versailles-born, UK-based Jean-Emmanuel Krieger has birthed this wonderful mash of ’60s psychedelia and French-accented electro. Although this is a very inwardly looking album, the melodies found here will delight as well as mystify, as Krieger crosses genre boundaries with sheer abandon. One of the best examples is the exuberant "2/3/74” as it starts off with traditional instrumentation of drums and guitars, but as the pace and energy quickens, the electronic influence creeps in until keyboards dominate to make the atmosphere very Air-like before mashing the elements together giving things a perfect Stereolab-like glitter and bop. In fact, although Krieger’s preferred instruments are digital emulations of ’60s compressors, the addition of live drums and guitars into many of the songs brings things out of the cold and allows them to fully bloom. Look to the raucous dance-inflected "Proto-Coeur” for another strong mix that proves that this should most likely be the soundtrack for any retro go-go bar. A lively, crisp album that brims with originality and energy, Cosmos may turn off due to the decidedly retro feel, but look past the shtick and embrace Krieger’s mighty love of melody. (Melodic)