The 16th album by the Daydream Nation creators was their first in three years after a label change.
Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore remain the driving forces in a band for whom straightforward guitar rock never seemed an option.
Together with bandmate Chet White he’s created the perfect vehicle for doing just that and justified the hype surrounding this one-off duo’s debut.
Along with Lady Gaga and Annie, Shakira demonstrated how to put together a pop album, roping in The Neptunes, Amanda Ghost and Sam Endicott on writing and production duties.
A Mercury nomination for this tonguetwistingly-titled opus brought them to an audience hitherto blithely benign to their charms. The involvement of Dan The Automator can only have opened aural possibilities.
Opening with a track called Crazy Naked Girls, this was the sound of a band having fun again.
Use of a drum machine caused the words “new disco direction” to be whispered, but Phrazes For The Young is not such a departure as all that.
Maybe it was that soaraway title. Or maybe it’s just one of those albums that needs repeat listens to appreciate – preferably without the audio spoilers this promo came with.
Animal and Cult Logic alone make sure of its place in the Top 50, but there’s depth to the rest of this immediate electronica.
Following yet another line-up change – this time dispensing with vocalist Earth – and yet another record label change, they somehow still have the capacity to surprise, dovetailed with ever surer production touches that mesmerise time and again. Worth discovering, if they’ll let you.
Shingai Shoniwa’s voice is still their shining asset, but it was difficult to ignore a definite musical progression over their debut album too.