Empire Of The Sun - Ice On The Dune

Fundamentally ‘Ice On The Dune’ is the definitive Empire Of The Sun album.

Label: Virgin

Rating: 7

A band comfortable in their own skin can be a wonderful thing. Granted, when talking of Empire Of The Sun, that skin is likely to be augmented with facepaint, glitter and a silly hat, but on their second album the duo-from-down-under have clearly resolved to be the best they can be by being themselves.

Luckily for them, through either serendipity or good planning, that’s exactly what’s required. ‘Ice On The Dune’ is the euphoric dance-pop album everyone was expecting, but with summer striving to make a go of things and a chart dominated by a plethora of acts not averse to a good synth line, the five year gap since 2008’s ‘Walking On Dream’ is quickly forgotten.



Of course, Steele and Littlemore have attached a suitably extravagant concept to the record - something about a stolen headdress - but Empire Of The Sun’s true art lays far more in their ability to pick out a tune than tell a story.



Take ‘Alive’. Euphoric pop music that’s almost genetically modified to ensure the maximum omnipotence, it’s the ear worm that the whole album is built around. What’s truly special, though, is the way it achieves its aim in almost timeless style. There’s no argument; nothing about the track even slightly rewrites the rule book. There’s literally nothing that’s not been heard a thousand times before, and yet here it simply works better.

Like all good records, it has its magpie moments too - the Justice / Daft Punk tinged one-two of ‘Celebrate’ and ‘Surround Sound’ especially effective in the current climate - but fundamentally ‘Ice On The Dune’ is the definitive Empire Of The Sun album. It just so happens that, right now, that’s the album we needed them to make.