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Fred Astereo has followed up on 2005’s warped masterpiece I Love You with another instalment of brilliant paeans to the lovelorn in this warm and often tragically funny new album. With his soothing deep-tenor vocals, and by applying ukulele and acoustic sounds to the more synthetic, the on-paper comparison would seem to be The Magnetic Fields, but the songs on Don't Break My Heart display a closer affinity with artists like Jonathan Richman, Depeche Mode and Morrissey, or even Frank Ifield, Perry Como and Buddy Holly.
1) Don't Break My Heart
2) The Loneliest Guy
3) Chuck it Out
4) Turn Me On... Then You're Gone
6) With the Exception of Saturn
7) It's Unofficial
8) Please Don't Ask for an Apology
9) When I Was Young and Cavalier
10) Goodbye Cruel World
Fred Astereo is one of those people who seem to live in a bubble. His logic is not that of his fellow men. His sense of humour is slightly askew; if he were to write a television show it would be kind of like Arrested Development but with a clash of ye-olden-time British characters and with ocker Aussies. Part heart-on-sleeve-troubadour and part satirist, he is all class. With his do-wop crooner vocals and simplistic electro-pop arrangements he has carved himself a niche that no one could really be expected to join him in. Hailing from Melbourne, this, his second album, seems completely oblivious to the wide world but incredibly well attuned to his internal world. While his style and conviction is admirable it has the potential to alienate some, and make others want to strangle him. This makes him somewhat of an Australian Art Brut, with less angular guitars, and more show tuned inspired songs.
While the arrangements are mostly quite sparse, with each instument having a sharp clarity to it, together the sounds mould into a gentle swing. The track Pillow for example creates the sort of swing best enjoyed by men in sharp ties and ladies in high waisted dresses dancing awkwardly and maybe, just maybe, getting close enough to hold hands. Elsewhere, in It's Unofficial he prefers the inorganic sound of console-game-sounding keyboards. Fred Astereo is no doubt a polarising artist, but his mind, and his new album Don't Break My Heart, are delightfully unique.
" Laura Miller, INPRESS - 18/07/07