| Artist: Paradoxx|
CD Title: Atomika
Label: Cold Fusion
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Paradoxx rose to prominence in the synthpop scene with their debut, New Devotion. The band's sophomore release, Atomika finds them dealing in a diverse blend of sonically authentic retro 90s Europop and electro-rock. It's nothing exceptionally original, and traces of other artists are plentiful, ranging from the Eiffel 65-esque vocoder overkill on "Catwalk" and "Alien" to "Radium-Lover", which borrows both mood and a prominent synth lick from Traci Lords' debut. However, what Atomika lacks in originality is certainly compensated for by quality. The album is well written and produced and is brimming with energy and infectious hooks.
The disc's first 5 cuts are fairly straightforward but universally execeptional dance pop offerings full of great layered melodies. The disc's title track is certainly memorable, as is the catchy "Catwalk". "Radium-Lover" is a slightly slower and moodier pop offering, while "Alien" is fairly standard retro dance fare save for a memorable pop chorus, and "Mysterious" throws a little trance into the mix to create a great club number. However, after a fairly consistent 5-track run, the brief, unexpected acoustic guitar and vocal ballad "Intermission" paves the way for a more diverse finale. "Vampyr", arguably one of the album's best, is an extremely catchy yet oddly familiar new wave dance number backed by distorted guitars. "Teknologi" is sort of a dance rock number with a distorted guitar riff foundation that's mildly reminiscent of Republica, while the album-closing standout "Wait" is a beautiful and moody plodding bass-driven electronic goth rock offering that features great layered male vocals and clocks in at nearly 8 minutes. The disc is rounded out with a somewhat unexceptional bonus remix of "Atomika" as well as the semi-lo-fi video for its original mix, featuring plenty of retro pop kitsch in the form of silly futuristic outfits and hairdos.
Paradoxx's Atomika certainly isn't anything we haven't heard before, but it's also a very solid offering with a bit of diversity that certainly rivals some of its predecessors. Anyone hungry for a slice of extremely catchy retro 90s electropop with a few modern flourishes and the occasional foray into moody rock territory will likely find Atomika quite satisfying.
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