Album: Groove Armada

Soundboy Rock, Columbia
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The Independent Culture

There's nothing on Soundboy Rock with quite the infectious likeability of "I See You Baby", but there's plenty to enjoy here nevertheless, thanks to Andy Cato and Tom Findlay's knack for matching the right groove with the right guest singer. The striding techno lope of "Get Down" starts the album off at a brisk clip, with Stush essaying a MIA-style vocal, before Simian's Simon Lord offers his take on a distinctly Björkian notion ("I need emptiness to fill my soul / I need a question mark to make me whole") over the retro-disco electropop of "Things That We Could Share". Candi Staton's impassioned vocals and Tony Allen's precise, jazzy drumming lend character to "Paris" and "Love Sweet Sound", and Jeb Loy Nichols's warm, mellow drawl inhabits the pizzicato groove of "What's Your Version?" as if born to the task, while the former Sugababe furnishes the album's obvious hit with the perky "Song For Mutya (Out of Control)". Elsewhere, "See What You Get" is a baggy shuffle that recalls The Stone Roses, and "Save My Soul" apes the staccato-electro twitch of Kraftwerk, but neglects to appropriate their melodic grace.

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