» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Ima Robot
Public Access
Virgin Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Every once in a while, I find myself trying to figure out how a band might have associated itself with a particular label, or, better yet, how a label might have associated itself with a particular band. Today is one of those days, and the band and record label in question are Ima Robot and Virgin Records, respectively. The guys and gals over at Virgin are probably pretty smart, and I'm sure they realize that Ima Robot's Public Access is unlikely to make them any money. In a world where the most interesting dance-worthy track blasting from your typical hot chick's Jeep is probably "Rock Your Body" or "Crazy in Love," Ima Robot's bouncy pop sound seems like an unlikely competitor in the mainstream market.

I wouldn't attribute Ima Robot's signing to a mistake on Virgin Records' part, though. The band's resume surely had something to do with this. Members of Ima Robot normally play with the likes of Beck, Ladytron, Tori Amos, REM, and others- not that any of that really matters. Of course, to the average listener, what makes the difference is the music itself. Ima Robot pairs the decadent silliness of mainstream 80's pop and new wave with the quirkiness of late 90's synth pop. The result is way catchy, though often way cheesy as well. The fact that the guys of Ima Robot add an ironic twist to the seriousness of some of the silliest 80's dance pop imaginable (see the anthemic "The Beat Goes On") works to their advantage, to the point that Public Access is almost a bit too smart and self-aware to qualify as a guilty pleasure. It's just a pleasure, as silly/cheesy/awful as it may be. With a bit of guilt.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn



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