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Album Cover dEUS - The Ideal Crash (Island)

A word of warning: do not expect an unbiased review. I fell over with awe when the ragged strains of that sonic masterpiece, 'Suds & Soda', first reached my ears about four years ago and I've nurtured an intimate relationship with dEUS ever since. It's that willingness to explore every available avenue, to attempt to make the violin cool again, that separates this magnificent Belgian outfit from the flotsam and jetsam of post-modern art-rock.

"The Ideal Crash", their third album, is the supposed breakthrough moment for dEUS, the time when they approach the edge of obscurity, dip their toes in the mainstream and hopefully come close to drowning in the resulting adulation. So it's their most 'normal' album to yet, their most 'accessible' album yet and - thank the saints - their most daring, accomplished effort to date.

'Put The Freaks Up Front' turns jarred feedback into a crunching melody, reminiscent of "Nevermind"-era Nirvana. 'Sister Dew' is lovelorn and heartbroken, a totally blissed-out testament to the power of thoughtful music-making. Even the off-the-wall, swarming addictiveness of the title track cannot prepare the listener for the timeless rhythm, the bleeding beauty in the vocals and the innate harmony of the lead single 'Instant Street'.

And it goes on. Not one note on this LP is throwaway. This is near-perfect music for lovers of everything from vaudeville disco to stadium rock. dEUS will stand up and be noted for their contribution to musical history when "The Ideal Crash" goes stratospheric. And "The Ideal Crash" will go stratospheric.

Concise, provocative, millennial; dEUS are saintly in their intentions and god-like in their deliverance. For anybody whose known the Nineties, 'The Ideal Crash' will take you to another plateau - and it might just be the place of your most fantastic, fairytale dreams.

by Michael Gleeson.