As you soar through the galaxy you come across a vast land of sounds that make you feel alive. This is where the Emperor and his Empire of the Sun resides. In this faraway land you awaken and are engulfed by the sounds of Empire Of The Sun’s new record, ‘Ice On The Dune’.
Before I even began listening to the album I expected fun, dance music that contained crisp synths throughout each song. Basically, I expected a follow up to Empire Of The Sun’s debut album, ‘Walking On A Dream’, because after waiting five years in order to hear new music, that’s what you expect.
Now there’s several bands who fail to come out with a decent sophomore album, especially if the first album was as successful as ‘Walking On A Dream’. Wait, is she trying to say that ‘Ice On The Dune’ doesn’t live up to her expectations? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m trying to say, because it actually goes beyond my expectations! From the very first track you are instantly taken into their world, the world that they have built up. The world that you see in their videos. You are part of it all now, and as the album progresses you go deeper into that world.
What was it that captured me? Was it the mysterious and almost adventurous sound of the intro, “Lux”? Or was it the perfect harmonies and vocals of Luke Steele found on ‘”Ice On The Dune”? To be honest it was it all, each and every track found on the album was as perfectly executed as the next. Even the songs that didn’t have lyrics, “Old Flavours” and “Lux”, were on the same level as the songs that did, which is something I think is really hard to accomplish. Most people change a song when it doesn’t contain lyrics and they don’t admire the beauty of that song, but Empire Of The Sun acquired this divinely so that you want to listen to it on a constant basis. Another song that caught me by surprise was “Celebrate”, it was something very different from what I’m used to. At first listen I wasn’t sure if I liked it that much because of the effects added on to Steele’s vocals, but by the time the chorus comes in all you want to do is dance and “celebrate our love”.
Learning about what’s behind the songs made me appreciate them even more and really showed me how much work was poured into the making of this album. The album comes alive right before your eyes, and I think that’s exactly what they were trying to accomplish when they started writing this album.
It definitely has a different vibe than ‘Walking On A Dream’, but it is what you would expect. The songs are more mature and express so much, which is what I think makes it ideal.
Personal Favorites: “DNA”, “Alive”, “Old Flavours”, “Ice On The Dune”, “Disarm”, and “Concert Pitch”
Album Rating: ★★★★★
You can pre-order the album on iTunes now.