With a musical palette that would not be unexpected in a VW Bug
commercial or a Pepsi spot, Lift has the glossy sound that has
long characterized much Love and Rockets music. Co-producer Doug
Deangelis has previously worked on remixes for the Pet Shop Boys and New
Order, which should give you some idea of the sonic flavor here.
Though they earned some props for being slightly ahead of the
electro-curve (at least in the U.S.) with their 1994 album (recorded in
1992) Hot Trip to Heaven, time has caught up with Love and
Rockets: as John Glenn is to the NASA space program, so Love and Rockets
are to techno -- invited to the party, but on the whole rather
As has been the case on most previous L&R albums, songs come in a wide
variety of styles. After a midtempo-yet-somehow-somnolent remix of the
title track (it appears in pristine form as the closer as well) -- a
track with so many sweeping synth washes that one begins to feel seasick
-- "R.I.P. 20 C" starts things off in rip-roaring fashion. A
headphone-friendly, high-energy thumper, the cut balances beat, bass and
rhythm well before veering with the lyric into a techno update of
"L.B.J." from "Hair." "R.I.P." leads into the bouncy "Holy Fool."
A throwback to the rhythmic, oozy pop of "So Alive," "Fool" is the most
cohesive, catchy, soulful thing here. It's also the shortest track. And
it's also the one with the most guest performers, with L&R getting help
from three-quarters of Luscious Jackson. Not surprisingly, it sounds a
lot like a Luscious Jackson outtake, with only the addition of Daniel
Ash's nosy sneer to set it off.
As for the rest, it's mostly less pop, more slop, with the band
stretching tracks out infinitely, cozying up to the sequencer.
"Delicious Ocean" is as undulating and ridiculous as it sounds.
"Resurrection Hex" seems a half-baked effort to raise the ghost of Bela
Lugosi, sampling Bauhaus tracks "Sigmata Martyr" and "In the Night,"
along with snippets from Adam Ant's "Kings of the Wild Frontier" for
period flavor, all amid a laughably serious, multipart frenzy that goes
After listening closely to the lyrics a few times, I began to suspect
that the whole thing is an ode to Viagra, which, given the album title,
I hope to god is not the case. From "Pink Flamingo": "Libido tells me
yeah/ I wanna stay, my dick say/ Go on, come on/ Walk that way." From
"Delicious Ocean": "Where the hell is my hero/ Her pussy tastes just
like nothing at all." From "Bad for You": "He says/ Don't shrink my
penis/ She says/ Don't make me dry." From "Ghosts of the Multiple
Feature": "And he didn't get hard/ And he didn't get hard/ And he didn't
get hard/ And he didn't get hard/ And the girl went away."
In any event, by the time a listener wades through the nine-minute opus
"Deep Deep Down" (which actually starts off promisingly enough -- think
Lenny Kravitz by way of Depeche Mode) and the dreary, (I guess) ironic
"Party's Not Over," certainly some kind of chemical lift is in order.
And the closer, a softer redux of "Lift," is not it.