To Infinity and Beyond.
SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM
“From Here To Anywhere”
Saviours of Australian Pop and music’s greatest duo since The Pet Shop Boys, our very own answer to Xenomania and therefor Girls Aloud, Sneaky Sound System have returned with one of my most anticipated releases of the year. “From Here To Anywhere” picks up exactly where their flawless sophomore album “2″ (read my original review – which I still stand by 100% - here) left off; Sneaky still have one foot firmly planted in the past whilst keeping their other three feet directed straight toward the future. That exciting blend of 1980′s synths and 2000′s approach to electronica is back in full swing for Anywhere, and much like their previous effort, it too is nothing short of being breathlessly amazing.
The thundering bassline of album opener “Friends” is an immediate step in the right direction, brushing itself up against sexy guitar licks and sonically lending itself slightly to Roger Sanchez’s “Another Chance.” Within three seconds of the chorus dropping it’s easy to see there’s really no fucking around on From Here To Anywhere; Sneaky mean business, and the business of the day is perfect pop music. Big, big chorus with chunky upheaval-like production that rolls along effortlessly; It’s the Sneaky Way. The first two singles then follow, with current radio-topper “Big” being the best of the bunch. “We Love” – a deliciously clunky club track – seems like a wasted opportunity as the first single, sitting amongst nine other songs that are infinitely better than it. That’s not to say We Love isn’t a great song, but when there are so many other brilliantly put together songs on here it makes you wonder why it was chosen to kick off this new era when something as monumental as “Big” sat there, waiting its turn. “I Need You So” is the only other song on Anywhere that goes back to that ‘In The Club’ territory heard on “We Love,” except that I Need You So is the better of the two. If the guys really wanted a club-banger for the first single then this should have been the choice, at least from a commercial standpoint.
Glitter-bass rears its head for the stunning “Really Want To See You Again”, complete with lyrics that get it; “I was breakin’ outta rules for you… I don’t want to talk about you, but I really wanna see you again. I don’t want to think about you, but I really wanna see you again.” The best lyric? “Don’t get me wrong, only fools get me wrong, I’s a mess when I was with you.” Keep an ear out for the brilliant bridge/middle8 combo that absolutely slays.
Making small – but noteworthy – references to the influential Human League, particularly their classic “Don’t You Want Me Baby”, “Remember” is a highly dramatic production for a song that is one of the bands hardest, lyrically speaking. “Don’t tell me we were wrong from the start, don’t hide your heart away so it can’t get back to the sweetest part.” The heartbreak continues in songs like “I’m Not Leaving” (which is much like an updated offcut from Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight” L.P. – never a bad thing at all,) which is the closest Anywhere gets to serving a ballad.
One of the best songs on Anywhere “The Colours”, is destined to be a single at some point. BIG synths with a mind-blowingly tight chorus, everything comes to an exciting climax just after the middle 8 and I am telling you, you will know when this is happening because your ears will asplode everywhere. However, the biggest interest should be strummed for the records most stunning moment (well, perhaps after “Big”), and – typically – it’s a track called “1984.” “Maybe we can televise at the Minsitry of Love?” Miss Connie coos before launching into the biggest and most commercially viable moment on all of Anywhere. It’s an obvious pop cultural reference to the book of the same name and the lyrics suggest this from the moment it begins. Everything from the way it abruptly opens, The Divine Miss Connie’s talky-bits, Angus’ brilliant production – without a doubt in their Top 5 songs of all time.
The record comes to a close – perfectly only 10 tracks long – with Balearic-banger “Lovetown”, taking bits and pieces from the Metronomy school of dance and combing it all together with cheeky lyrics that play like some kind of Caribbean disco dream.
The best thing about From Here To Anywhere is its ability to knock you in the face from the get-go with huge, euphoric build-up’s across all of the songs that lead to death-defying climaxes. It’s everything we loved about “2″ – and then some. Angus and Miss Connie have knocked this one so far out of the park it’s hard to imagine any Australian artist toppling them over the next 12 months. Whether this sells or not, Sneaky Sound System are, and always have been, at the very top of their game, and “From Here To Anywhere” is their second (of three) truly perfect and completely flawless long players. So many artists can’t even achieve that in 10 years – yet they’ve done it in 5.
The only way is up. Sneaky Sound System are here to save our lives with the highest quality pop this country has ever served.
FROM HERE TO ANYWHERE is released THIS FRIDAY October 7th in Australia, with a subsequent release worldwide from October 17.