Melody AM, was the sleeper hit of 2002. It gradually made the transition from underground buzz to top ten hit, taking its place alongside Air's Moon Safari and Zero 7's Simple Things as a downtempo classic. Now the much-loved Norwegian duo of Torbjörn Brundtland and Svein Berge are back with the first cut from follow-up, The Understanding.
The light, twinkling intro and mellow chords instantly betray that, rather than undertaking a risky re-invention, it is very much business as usual. Understated, angelic vocals, a touch of Balearic guitar, along with the usual dose of sweet melancholy show that, while this is no giant leap forward, Röyksopp are poised to laugh in the face of so-called 'difficult second album syndrome'. The tradition of strong remixes also continues. Frenchman Alan Braxe, turns in a stomping electro remix with surging bass and ecstatic chords while the galloping Headman mix recalls the Chemical Brothers with its mangled vocals and simple, driving drums.
The appetite for electronic music has lessened somewhat over the past three years, but if the rest of the new album is as strong as this, the music-buying public should prepare to gorge themselves once again.