Release Date: February 12, 2007
Label: EMI Norway
Fred Ball, the Norwegian producer behind both Pleasure albums, clearly is in love with the eighties. Listening to Pleasure 2, his recently released electro/pop/rock/other release, is like jetting back to the coolest clubs of the decade… all neon lights, androgynous voices and cooing comedowns.
If you enjoyed the first Pleasure album, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t adore the sequel. It offers the same mix of pop, electronica, ballads and instrumentals, yet strengthens the quality of each. The electro numbers are catchier (see the fabulous Out Of Love and Uptown, both sweetly delivered by fellow Norwegian Heidrun Bjornsdottir), the ballads are more epic (the Bowie-esque Back To You, sung by ex-Suede frontman Brett Anderson, and the pretty Finest Thing) and there are even some surprises thrown in the mix. The soulful Silk Dream, especially, is an unexpected treat. A sort of electro/r&b number, it may be one of the shortest tracks on the album, but it definitely leaves its mark.
Throughout Pleasure 2, you’ll hear shades of the aforementioned Bowie, along with Prince, early Michael Jackson, girl pop and soft rock, blended together to form Ball’s unique dancefloor vision. More than most producer-helmed projects, Pleasure 2 is most definitely a pop album. Listening to it feels like you’re tuning into the coolest radio station around, one that both hipsters and casual pop fans can enjoy. A-
Key Tracks: Out Of Love, Uptown, Back To You