Xlover Pleasure & Romance

One can only assume this album was called Pleasure & Romance because the title "Songs About Fucking” was taken. Shame, as it would have been more appropriate. Then again, "Fucking Bad Songs” would have been appropriate too. This is diabolically and disastrously bad. Electroclash being simply a vehicle for shallow fashion statements, it should come as no surprise that the crowning achievement of the movement be the most sincere aping of the worst ideas of the time when fashion victimising reached it’s summit — the ’80s. Lyrics calculated to be offensive are still somehow infinitely bland. "Sex Rebel” is driven by cheap Casio sounds and lyrics about a "sex rebel”; short of being sexy, it sounds more like the Kids in the Hall skit where Bruce plays a female ’80s teen pop idol. "Machine” is pointless mechanical banging; "So Blue” could be the similarly-named Elastica song in a parallel universe where the laws of physics preclude catchiness. "Faking It,” "In Love” and "Sex or Head” are not worthy of words. "Darling Nikki” is a crime against the musical community and sticking it next to the equally miserable cover of Nirvana’s "Aneurysm” at the end of the disc makes the whole thing seem like a big joke — which it very well may be. Pleasure & Romance is the soulless sound of cocaine pop. (International DeeJay Gigolo)