Crème de Menthe The Impossibility of Eroticism in the Suburbs

The intriguingly titled Impossibility of Eroticism in the Suburbs kicks off with a sound similar to wind blowing through a ghost town (or perhaps the suburbs themselves) before launching into some up-tempo electronica. The musical stylings are reminiscent of the early electronica of the late ’70s through ’80s, but equipped with more modern keyboards and samplers — keeping the sound stripped down but not so raw. The spoken word style vocals only serve tighten this comparison. And despite the serious nature of the lyrics (which tackle rampant consumerism, prostitution, and include myriad pop culture references, among other topics) and the deceivingly titled songs (including "SadomasochistUs,” "Destroy the Human Race,” and "Crack The Burning Whip”), the backing beats almost always remain light, perhaps too cheery even, never once venturing close to anything that might be considered industrial or dark rave-esque — even though in some instances the vocals do. While the album as a whole is predictably catchy, there isn’t much to separate one track from the next. This is perhaps the biggest drawback of spoken-style vocals, in general, a certain generic sound forms and without a great variation in orchestration or composition, as in Crème de Menthe’s case, everything begins to become indistinguishable. That’s not to say that there isn’t talent on display here, this is just the sort of project that calls for guest vocalists — of which, sadly, there is only one on one track. (disko b)