Rhythm & Views

United State of Electronica

Despite the overly-used robot voice, cliché lyrics and incessant feel of the Main Street Electrical Parade, U.S.E. is not an annoying dance record. Perhaps it's the fact that their form of electronica is actually performed live, or maybe it's backup singers (and dancers) Amanda Okonek and Carly Nicklaus, who add enough of an edge to save the songs from being too glittery. On "Emerald City," for example, the female vocals are not robotified, and are just sexy enough to give the songs a slight Pizzicato Five tinge, making it more cute than obnoxious. Even though the lyrics are "I got more love than anyone could handle, I got more happiness too," once the girls come in with their simple sway of "Emerald City," you can't hate them for being too happy. It just wouldn't be fair.

"All Sounds All People" is just someone talking about how U.S.E. is "about the people, because people have been dancing and celebrating and singing since the beginning of time." Yes, this a group that proclaims that they are for "all party people," and they don't discriminate--they just want you to dance and feel good. "Climb the Wall (Umbrella of Love)" starts out with the same chord progression as 80 percent of all dance tracks, but that disco beat and thick bass line just won't let it get sappy, and then the girls pose an apt rhetorical question: "Who doesn't want to feel good?" Well, no one, save the permanently depressed, and the United State of Electronica want even the permanently depressed to know "music is wild" (from "There's Always Music").

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