Happy to You

Can a great band have a dull singer? The second LP by this electro-pop trio (New Yorker Andrew Wyatt and Swedes Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, a.k.a. Bloodshy and Avant) is exhilarating and, frequently, beautiful: "Paddling Out" is psychedelic disco; "Vase" is a sonata for synths and drum machine. The problem is Wyatt's thin voice and ineffectual presence. On their amazing records with Britney Spears ("Toxic," "Piece of Me"), Karlsson and Winnberg treated singers as just another sound in the mix, but they're not so cavalier with Wyatt. The result: an earphone extravaganza that never quite makes magic.

Listen to "Devil's Work":

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From The Archives Issue 1153: March 29, 2012