This latest album from Finland's finest has been much anticipated following the success of the 1999 release "Fiber Optic Rhythm". It sees the duo of J. Tuohimaa (composing & programming) & K. Karjalainen (vocals, lyrics) further refining their idiosyncratic sound to produce what is, to these ears at least, an even better & more consistent album. Although far more accessible than their earlier releases on the Cyberware label it still maintains an individual & easily recognizable take on modern synthpop styles with K. Karjalainen's smooth, deep vocal style helping to mark the territory as the duo's own. The opening "Play" is a good example of the band's capabilities, being very infectious without copping out to commercial whimsy, having a somewhat downbeat mood which is present, to greater or lesser extents throughout just about every other track on the album, be it the up-tempo "You" which is very similar to the opening title & every bit as good or the rhythmically strong "Innerspaceman", "Wonders Of The World" or "As If We Didn't Know", all of which keep the standard high. Kraftwerk fans should enjoy the rhythms of "Strangers To A Lie" while the midpoint duo of "Was It Worth It" & "FF", despite sounding remarkably alike both eventually show their true colors, being slightly easier going, pace wise but no less enjoyable for all that. The slower "Quiet Afternoon" lacks nothing of the power of it's faster brethren while the shorter instrumentals "Pause" & the closing "Stop" both give the music room to breathe fully whilst remaining faithful to the album's premise.
A superbly solid album, then. It's one of those where you couldn't immediately pick out your fave track but each one seems to have it's own highlights & will keep you coming back for more time & time again.