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Again and Again Remixed

Thieves Like Us

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Album Review

This is the second album from Thieves Like Us, a trio consisting of two expatriate Swedes and one expatriate American who met at a picnic in East Berlin and have never been able to settle down permanently in one place since. That fact might lead you to expect music with an unsettled feel and a wide variety of influences, but if anything, it suffers at times from a certain sameness of texture and flatness of affect. That's not to say that the music isn't attractive and even heartfelt — just that there's an almost poker-faced feeling to many of the songs, and it sometimes creates a curious counterpoint to the old-school electro bounce on which they all tend to be built. Take, for example, the sprightly but strangely cool "Never Known Love" or the slow and virtually non-melodic "Mercy." On the other hand, "The Walk" gives the proceedings a lift with synthesized harp glissandi and a gentle ska backbeat, and "Lover Lover" brings in an always welcome touch of cowbell. The album is packaged with a bonus disc of remixes, many of which emphasize the band's debt to 1980s synth pop ("Hounds of Hate's Purple Stuff" and "Forget Me Not [Cécile's Small Town Girl Mix]" both evoke New Order very explicitly) and some of which bring elements of reggae and dub to the proceedings. All in all it's a very enjoyable album, if at times a rather strange one.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The darkly stylish electronic/post-punk threesome Thieves Like Us are named for the 1984 New Order song (as opposed to the 1974 Robert Altman film), and they take more than just their moniker from Manchester's darkly stylish electronic/post-punk pioneers. Their timely, '80s-indebted approach has garnered comparisons to numerous dance-pop acts of the late 2000s, including Hot Chip and Crystal Castles, but their mix of gloom and glitter may be most closely aesthetically aligned with the seedy electro-disco...
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Again and Again Remixed, Thieves Like Us
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