February 06, 2003

bis 'plastique nouveau'

You've gotta give Bis credit; they grew up quite nicely, leaving behind their Teen-C ways when they left their teen years, and though they've kept their teenful enthusiasm for pop music, they've grown up, and 2001's Return to Central was a fresh breath of electro dance-pop, eurodisco (then referred to as "electroklash"), and all around new wave bliss. "How quickly they turned into Human League," was my initial reaction. Given the new dance sounds of Return to Central, a remix record like Plastique Nouveau would seem almost inevitible.

Plastique Nouveau continues Bis' development into an updated version of Human League. I wouldn't have considered Manda Rin a dance diva, but on songs such as the excellent "Protection" (here featured in two remixed forms) and "The End Starts Today," Manda's voice is totally, utterly dreamy. For those of you who haven't kept up with Bis, you'll be surprised at how strong, confident, and tough she sounds. Songs like "Don't Let The Rain Come Down" and "Make it Through" find Bis refining the sounds that worked so well on Return to Central, and it's good to know that Bis are getting better at their craft.

Plastique Nouveau is a nice little release from a band who've really changed for the better. While Return to Central is where new listeners should start, and this little stop-gap release serves as an extra little bonus for those of us that loved their last album. If it's any indication of the Bis banquet of sounds that are yet to come, it's certainly a welcome appetizer, sure to whet the appetite of pop-lovers and teen-c kids everywhere.

--Joseph Kyle

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