Digitalism’s 2007 freshman LP, Idealism, did not exactly reinvent the wheel upon it’s release, but it did breathe new life into the fading House genre. Tracks like “Pogo” were memorable reminders that dancefloor electronica has a higher ceiling than most music aficionados would care to believe. A highly enjoyable fusion of pop music and techno, Idealism succeeded in creating an electro/club/experience where the thump, thump, thump was more than a deafening metronome. Well, that was four years ago. With nothing but an insignificant EP released in the intervening four years, Digitalism seemed overdue for an encore album to burst upon the scene. But for all its energy and determination to entertain, Digitalism’s 2011 follow-up, I Love You, Dude, comes off as a fairly lifeless affair.
An uninteresting conceptual rehash of Idealism, Dude moves along quickly but never threatens to take flight. The sights here are moreso set on an electro/indie rock collaboration. But while intriguing in concept, many of the tracks feel as if Digitalism are merely going through the motions. Jence Moelle and Isi Tufekci, the duo behind Digitalism, seem to have forgotten that Idealism was really cool because it was disposable. The tracks came, hooked the listener, and pulled them along. Dude though is shockingly sparse when it comes to catchiness. Seemingly dancefloor-ready tunes like “Blitz” are lacking the punch of similar tracks on Idealism. With only the aforementioned thump, thump,thump lurking in the periphery to keep the listener’s attention, things quickly grow monotonous. Only Dude highlight, the enjoyably Roykksop-esque “Just Gazin” featured on the second half, render the album from being a total misfire. It’s energy carries over to the final two tracks, the cinematically intense “Miami Showdown” and album closer “Encore”- a rave tune that would play best as the sun rose after a long night on the dancefloor. However, these late moments of life are not enough to salvage the record as a whole. Admittedly, “Just Gazin” is as good as anything Digitalism has ever done in their career. It is also though the one time on I Love You, Dude where their ambition does not exceed their grasp.
STANDOUT TRACKS INCLUDE: