ALBUMS

Neon Neon
Praxis Makes Perfect

Released: 6th May 2013
Label: Lex Records

The word genius is quite often used in music, it could be argued that the word is overused, however when it comes to describing the work that Gruff Rhys has been involved with over the years I don’t think that genius is quite enough. Neon Neon is one of Gruff’s many musical projects, together with producer Boom Bip they take figures from history and tell their story through the beauty of music - their debut album Stainless Steel told the story of John DeLorean. Praxis Makes Perfect takes Italian publisher and political activist Giangiacomo Feltinelli as its subject matter.

Before I go any further I am not going to pretend to know who Feltinelli was, in fact until listening to this album I had never heard of this man, however by the time the album ended I was certainly inspired to go and read more about this compelling individual. As a concept album, Praxis Makes Perfect is perfect (excuse the pun), the album is an enjoyable pop album which will certainly inspire you.

Musically the unmistakable, soothing and intimate voice of Gruff combined with the sounds created by Boom Bip are a perfect combination. The album has a very 80s sound throughout with sublime production. ‘Hammer & Sickle’ has a drum sound that is reminiscent of ‘Chain Reaction’ by Diana Ross, ‘Shopping (I Like To)’ is a great feel good song which references the Pet Shop Boys in the lyric “I’ve got the buck, you’ve got the looks”. Further highlights on this great album include ‘Mid Century Modern Nightmare’, an infectious song that will instantly sweep you off your feet, the song is incredibly infectious and only Gruff could manage to rhyme bourgeoisie and cups of tea. 'Dr. Zhivago’ weaves from verse to chorus in a graceful way and this song (like many on the album) would not have been out of place in a John Hughes movie. ‘Cia Feltrinelli’ brings the album to an end in a peaceful manner.

‘Praxis Makes Perfect’ achieves everything that I am sure Neon Neon set out to achieve, it is a fantastic pop album that will enlighten many to the life of Giangiacomo Feltinelli.

Steve Tay

Sweet baboo
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Released: 22nd Apr 2013
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