"an album about love that begs to be listened to alone"...
Zoheir Beig
14:50 5th July 2006

The one track that will remind us of Summer 2006, over and above such credibility-chasing favourites as Lily Allen’s ‘Smile’ or anything off the new Muse album is, regrettably, Bob Sinclair’s ‘Love Generation’, purely because someone, somewhere deep in the German organizing committee, thought it’d be a good idea to play the bloody song every single time anyone scored at the World Cup.

We mention this because by definition commercial dance music, with its factory-line nature and anonymous creators, should be a genre to despise. And yet tracks like ‘Love Generation’ still arguably soundtrack more nights out than any other, so clearly there’s something there in amongst the bland beats and thudding repetition, even if it’s merely the idea of losing yourself in the music until the normal barometers of taste cease to apply.

Ferry Corsten is quite far removed from this image of a shadowy producer, but his second album ‘L.E.F’ (Loud, Electronic and Ferocious apparently) walks a fine line between disposable boy-racer anthems designed to make Fatboy Slim look avant-garde and being a straight-ahead dance album that remains listenable in its own right.

Highlights include ‘Are You Ready’, whose woozy electronic lines recall Daft Punk’s more instant moments, the title track, which is ‘Believe’ by The Chemical Brothers being fed through the computer in ‘Tron’, and the surprisingly melancholic ‘Into The Dark’.

‘Fire’ meanwhile is plodding at best, only notable for featuring Simon Le Bon on virtually unrecognisable lead vocals. ‘Forever’ is the cheesy ‘Call On Me’-style hit in waiting, while ‘Junk’ wastes Guru of Gangstarr fame on a weak attempt at the hip-hop influenced techno that Leftfield did so well.

To complain that ‘L.E.F’ lacks much invention or depth seems a bit uncharitable. After all, this is music largely designed for the moment: sure it’s forgettable, overlong by at least thirty minutes and contains only a handful of tracks that this writer could listen to without feeling sleepy, but ‘L.E.F’ will still be the soundtrack to a lot of hedonistic Summers, and all without simultaneously tainting people’s memories of the football. A result, of sorts.