Sunny L.A. might be seen as the home of jangly Beach Boys style pop, but now 30 years after Ziggy returned to Mars, you think that maybe his spaceship passed over L.A. on the way home and as a result Ima Robot vocalist Alex Ebert was born. Certainly he seems to be full of extraterrestrial swagger. Together with Tim Anderson & Oligee he formed Ima Robot in 1997 and for 5 years carved out a fairly large following in their native California. Enough so that in 2002 they added to their ranks former Beck/Air collaborators Justin Meldal-Johnson & Joey Waronker and suddenly their spaceship had direction. They were quickly signed to Virgin Records and told to create some 'hits'. So in a way they are the first decent 'manufactured' pop band of the 21st century. While certainly quite pretty and producing lots of catchy songs, this is no 'boy band'. Their sound mixes the sunny pop of L.A. with the kind of music that The Sweet or Mud would be making now if they had all the modern instruments of the 21st century at their disposal. The album mixes songs inspired by the likes of Diamond Dogs & The Man Who Fell To Earth with simpler anthemic calls to arms.
So this their debut album opens with Dynomite which is ironically (or possibly intentionally) not a million miles from Dynamite (a hit single for Mud back in 1974). In typical glam fashion there's not much depth to the lyrics although they are a lot darker and sexual than anything you'd have heard 30 years ago. This song has sex virtually dripping all over the place (just check the lyrics), but with one of the most infections basslines behind it, it'll get you flying all over the dancefloor (with or without a spaceship). The album is full of catchy pop songs; especially the opening salvo of the first 5 songs. Song #1 (a call to arms and potential anthem for the youth of today to break free, fuck the rules and do whatever they want), Alive (put down the drugs kids and live life to the full), Scream (a wondrous glam rock tale of being afraid of love 'Hot and cold in the goldmine, the diamond legs. After she hit me off, I just had to beg') and then A Is For Action (simialr to Bowie's 'Five Years' a call to save your soul before the apocalpyse 'T is for time [tick tock tick tock...] and you ain't got much left'). While in some ways deep subjects, none of them are tackled in a heavy way as in say Bowie's Diamond Dogs. The songs sound far too upbeat for that, so despite their rather downbeat lyrics the songs all sound joyous and envigorating. It's pop after all, despite the content.
The second half of the album does however slow down a little. Dirty Life is the kind of song everyone wishes Jarvis Cocker would have come up with on his 'electro' project, Relaxed Muscle. It's every bit as dark and sexual as anything Jarvis has ever written "(Filthy) I'm comin' for you, (Fame) I want to shoot you up (Fancy), I wanna do you (Fortune), I wanna screw you up (Filthy), I wanna fuck fuck fuck (Fame)". The album them flounders a bit with Let's Talk Turkey which is a simple story of the dating game, that doesn't really get off the ground. Philosophofee is another simple song about freedom but it's at least delivered in space-age fashion "We could rocket from Mars to the stars". 12=3 (Here Come The Doctors) is a crazy spacy song about an alien "Living it up in the atmosphere Thanks for thew tip off Kitten. I had never heard of this band but they sound great from what I have heard on the net. I will now buy there album. Thanks again. .
Comments On This Review On 27/04/2004 16:53 Kitten said:
Oh and Ima Robot are playing in London on Friday as support to the Von Bondies at the Astoria. Sadly it's sold out, so if anyone has a spare ticket please get in touch!
On 29/06/2004 17:22 Alan Sharif said: On 13/07/2004 16:04 Clauthering said:
ThEy SounD FUnTasTic! addictive!
On 26/10/2010 07:38 xiaqinghua1989 said:
many years ago .I was a student ,like English very much ,because some resons I gave up it .but now I want to learn it again .believe me!!GO GO !!!
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Thanks for thew tip off Kitten. I had never heard of this band but they sound great from what I have heard on the net. I will now buy there album. Thanks again. .