Mix a precocious talent with a rebel's mentality and you get Clean, Cosmo Vitelli's (a.k.a. Benjamin Boguet) deep trip into electronic shadings that produce a strangely alluring mix of hip beats, insightful lyrics, and fine oddities.
Beginning with a piano tinkle and the artificial sound of a cat's meow, Vitelli proceeds to prowl around the next several tracks, dipping in and out of actual songs and synthesizer manifestos. "Robot Soul" sounds like a mid-Eighties New Wave ballad but has much more in terms of atmosphere and space, both places where he likes to play. "Perfect Lies" is perfectly beautiful, swaying along like summer wind, and "Alias" gets rough with its crunching guitars. But then he gets electronic religion and issues "People Should Think, Machines Should Work," an empty, eerie sermon that sounds like it belongs in a church service presided over by Stanley Kubrick. "Come On, Generation Clone" sits right on the edge of sanity but you can't help but be intrigued, even as you wonder if you like it or not. Such music is usually considered pretentious but Vitelli makes his creations with a serious sincerity that is apparent and appreciated.
Vitelli could be on the verge of a major career if the listeners' demand for his brand of cultured electronic music grows. Of course, if he makes a few wrong turns on one of his journeys into the souls of machines, he could find himself so eclectic no one will get it. But for now, that's not a problem.
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