It’s a precarious thing when an electronic musician tries to keep the starball fun going while venturing off the dance floor into the bigger leagues of, in the case of Les Rhythmes Digitales’ Darkdancer, classic synthpop. To its credit, Darkdancer’s acid-washed, ‘80s retro-tinged cuts inject a much-needed personality and humor into electronica’s usual stone-faced, buzz-cut, it’s-all-about-the-music finality. Les Rhythmes’ mainman Jacques Le Cont (an Englishman with a French pseudonym) wears his mullet proudly on "Soft Machine," his sleazy synth grind backing an equal parts Rick Springfield and Blade Runner-soundtrack retro-kitsch chorus. "I’ve got Lucifer rising in my head," he sings, earnest and corny enough to make Corey Feldman blush.

But elsewhere, tracks fail to rally the necessary depth of field to actually turn into three-dimensional songs, and Le Cont’s Euro-trash schtick can’t pull the bumpy Muzak melody and horn breakdown of "Music Makes You Lose Control" into any sharper focus, while "Hypnotize" just bores.

If Jacques wants to be electronica’s Gary Glitter-Numan, he’s got to make tracks that show he’s thinking bigger – more Kajagoogoo than Chemical Brothers. Otherwise, we’re left with a bunch of Yaz-zy B-sides making us yearn for some Kajagoogoo A-sides.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.