Pelo - The Aluminum Group
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The Chicago group's fourth full-length was produced by John Herndon (Tortoise, Isotope 217).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. The Aluminum Group's "Pelo" features the lush production and silky arrangements one expects to find on a Tortoise record, plus a healthy dose of Stereolab-influenced vocal harmonies thrown in for good measure.
  2. 70
    Pelo pumps up the beat and subtly shifts the band's sound from the lounge to the club. [#48, p.75]
  3. That The Aluminum Group is an acquired taste becomes more true with every album, but each outing provides at least a few tracks like these ("Satellite", "Tom of Finland") that truly captivate.
  4. Under the shimmering surface of the group's previous three albums -- and magnified on Pelo by the translucent production of Tortoise jack-of-all-trades John Herndon -- is a longing that's poignant and disturbing.
  5. John and Frank Navin, the brotherly core of Chicago's Aluminum Group, produce impeccably tailored bachelor-pad pop with a cynical bite -- like a less restrained Sea & Cake or a more Anglicized Stereolab.... More post-consumer than post-rock, the Aluminum Group's environmentally conscious sounds will make your ears feel as comfortable and cultured as fine quality furnishings.
  6. The expansive sonic palette of Pelo bears little resemblance to conventional pop sensibilities of any stripe, instead most closely recalling German electro-alchemists Mouse on Mars. Even more remarkable is that the album's innovations don't come at the expense of the Navins' vaunted melodicism?
  7. Guests from Chicago's music scene, including Mekons singer Sally Timms and members of Tortoise, bolster the already-solid playing of the Navins' regular contingent, and while the songs aren't particularly sharp, the music (produced by the Navins, John Herndon, and John McEntire) most definitely is.... Can something be so smooth that it just slips away? For all its pleasantness, Pelo comes awfully close to this invisible ideal, an achievement in its own right but not an especially engaging one.

See all 11 Critic Reviews