Saint Etienne, the U.K.'s foremost purveyors of indie dance pop, returned in 2006 with TALES FROM TURNPIKE HOUSE. The trio is in excellent form here, revisiting the propulsive disco and house-inflected fare of their earlier releases on cuts like "A Good Thing" and "Stars Above Us." Yet songwriters/producers Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley are as steeped in music history as ever, harking back to the 1960s harmony-heavy pop of the Beach Boys ("Sun in My Morning") and the wiry sounds of '80s new wave ("Oh My").
Sarah Cracknell's breathy vocals add just the right amount of breeziness and luster to these pop confections. The album's best moments, in fact, are its quietest, when Cracknell's sultry whisper and Wiggs and Stanley's glossy arrangements and production are brought into perfect balance (the bossa nova-themed opener "Side Streets" and the hazy, downtempo "Dream Lover" are two cases in point). Beautifully conceived and executed, TALES FROM TURNPIKE HOUSE is a refreshing dose of electronic pop purity.
- RSD Release Date: n/a
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Pop
- Released: 11/24/2017