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my robot friend - Soft-Core
My Robot Friend took two years to make Soft-Core, his third album in all. The NYC electro-fiend recruited Yazoo's Alison Moyet for an extra dose of vintage authenticity, also snapping up guest spots from Dean Wareham of Galaxie 500 and Luna as well as similarly-minded producer types Zombie Nation and Outputmessage. It feels very much like a return to square one when 'Robot High School' goes through a few all-too familiar motions, but think of this as a reintroduction more than anything else (this is, apparently, MRF's first long-player released in his native USA), because soon enough were into the Postal Service-like emo-synth-pop universe of 'Sleepwalkers', which actually sounds very refreshing and is far more successful as a song than most of the world's Gibbard & Tamborello imitations. The acoustic song 'Waiting' is up next, sounding like Kevin Barnes-via-Syd Barrett in a peculiar sort of way, but soon enough the electricity is back on, leading to the misleadingly titled 'Misfits Fight Song', which like 'Sleepwalkers' is a collaboration with Outputmessage, yielding fine results. All the guest contributors put in a good showing, in fact, with Moyet's 'Waiting' providing the most insistent pop moment on this surprisingly diverse and largely successful album.