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Ready Never are a dance group from L.A. started by songwriters Benny Ed and Rudi Meibergen and have just released their new album Eleutherophobia. Their sound aligns with modern EDM, but their lyrics often slyly subvert everything, even mocking those probably dancing along to their own music. “Take that Pill”, for instance, is typical of most dance anthems out there, replete with whistles and chantable lyrics, but if you actually pay attention to what they’re saying, you’ll realize they are casually making fun of today’s pill popping society.
Occasionally their ambitions exceed their abilities—autotune can only do so much, for instance—but their personalities and ideas are fresh and original enough to bolster any flaws. “Casualties” is a poppy song somewhat reminiscent of a modernized Yazoo or Erasure, and it wouldn’t be that much of a step to hear Alison Moyet somewhere on it. Like Vince Clarke’s endeavors, it’s pop meant to be taken for its surface value, but the hooks are so catchy it’s impossible to realize.
The rest of the album is filled with other pleasant dance tracks like “Me, Myself, and I” (which you may be disappointed to find is not a cover of the same-titled song by De La Soul), and fun, insanely hummable instrumental interludes like “Future Retro” and “Victim of Vice”. The album closes with “Assistant Press Play” which sounds exhausted and world-weary as if they’re collapsing from the very lifestyle they’re subtly mocking. Eleutherophobia is a fascinating listen if merely as a cultural document, but its artistic ambitions are subversive enough to make it stand out on its own.
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