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Röyksopp Album Reviews 4out of 5
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The Understanding

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For those who've only bought three chill-out albums since the late-1990s, the chances are those purchases include one or more of Air's 'Moon Safari', Goldfrapp's 'Felt Mountain' and Röyksopp's 'Melody A.M.'. As if the title of the Norwegian duo's debut wasn't clear enough, here was a tuneful quasi-easy listening record which worked as either a post-club comedown or a pre-Sunday lunch appetiser. With that in mind, much is obviously expected of its successor. 'The Understanding' is still a chill-out record but it's settled on a sound midway between 'Moon Safari' and 70s disco pop featuring lighter than air melodies and gentle soulful vocals. Because of this it's not too surprising that the music occasionally drifts into aural wallpaper territory (the instrumental 'Alpha Male' is a waste of eight minutes of album time) but the majority of the time is spent on delivering intelligent floor-fillers. Of the many highlights are '49 Percent' (reminiscent of New Order's Be Music projects), the breezy sensuality of 'Sombre Detune', a lusty performance by The Knife's Karin Dreijer on 'What Else Is There?' and two cracking songs full of giddy romanticism and effortless cool ('Someone Like Me', 'Beautiful Day Without You'). Once the initial shock of the glossy production dies down, 'The Understanding' slowly and surely reveals its hidden depths.
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  Track Listing
01 Triumphant
02 Only This Moment
03 49 Percent
04 Sombre Detune
05 Follow My Ruin
06 Beautiful Day Without You
07 What Else Is There?
08 Cicruit Breaker
09 Alpha Male
Standout Track Someone Like Me
11 Dead To The World
12 Tristesse Globale

Standout Track = Standout Track

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Also Recommended:
Air - Talkie Walkie
Cagedbaby - Will See You Now
Mylo - Destroy Rock & Roll
Röyksopp - Melody A.M.
Various Artists - Cool As Ice: The Be Music Productions, Twice As Nice: Be Music | Dojo | Mark Hamins | Arthur Baker Productions
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