Album Review: The Sun & The Neon Light - Booka Shade

Everybody is saying the same two things about this album: it sounds like Depeche Mode in places and it doesn't have any of the big room anthems that the previous album, Movements, had.

BlackPlastic hates to agree but as statements these are both true. There is nothing quite like 'Mandarine Girl' on The Sun & The Neon Light and certain parts, notably 'Control Me', DO sound like Depeche Mode. What most are wrong about is what these facts mean.

The Sun & The Neon Light doesn't just sound like Depeche Mode. It also sounds like the meloncholic Joy Division of 'Atmosphere' on 'Sweet Lies' and the swirling bass / cowboy twang of 'Dusty Boots' is very Underworld. Yet most of all this album sounds like Booka Shade: Even
when their forebearer's inspiration is notable everything is still distinctly Get Physical and meticulously put together.

So there are no 'bangers' here. If you want those BlackPlastic suggests you a) stop reading; and b) pick up the limited version which features a continuous bonus CD of club versions. The Underworld comparison above is important because The Sun & The Neon Light as an album picks up where Dubnobasswithmyheadman and Beaucoup Fish left off: this is a mature electronic album that has been crafted into a cohesive body of work. To complain that this album lacks club hits is like complaining your car moves too slowly underwater: that is not what it was designed to do.

Booka Shade will doubtless have more work in the future that caters to your ass. This one... This one is for your head. Don't be stupid enough to miss the point.

BP x