The second mini album from Nick Hopkin is another offering which treads a fine line between The Pet Shop Boys and EMF. Much of 'In The Absence Of Anxiety' leaves no doubt that this is a low-budget recording by another bedroom electronica artist yet at times Hopkin reveals that he's actually a songwriter able to tramsit emotion within the confines of a great pop song. He begins in throwaway fashion; the fuzzy pop of the first two songs not really showing any progression from his first EP. Yet on 'S.A.D.' events take a turn for the better; Hopkin uses his best "little boy lost" vocal and the addition of some grungy guitar adds a nice contrast. Minus guitars but with a stronger chorus, Hopkin reaches a peak on the glorious vulnerabilia of 'Somehow'. Also impressive is the way in which 'Cut The Power' changes from a shoegazing instrumental to a tender ballad. So with 'In The Absence Of Anxiety', it's very much a case of bearing with the record as Hopkin slowly finds his true strengths.