Out for nearly a year in their native Germany, the Notwist’s Neon Golden was 2002’s import-bin MVP among savvy pop fans. The band boasts a flawless mix of minimalist techno with acoustic guitar, keyboards and horns. For all of the creativity channeled into the instrumentation, however, it’s the band’s penchant for crafty melodies that sets them apart. “One With the Freaks” transcends its laughable title and delivers an infectious melody over a bed of chiming guitars. “Consequence” and “Pick Up the Phone” are similarly affecting, while the title track showcases the band’s uncanny understanding of the electronic-organic dynamic. The three “bonus” tracks are straight filler, but don’t let that dissuade you: Neon Golden is an outstanding fusion of glitch and pop.
Rating: 4 Stars