As the electronic music scene continues to explode into just about every other genre, it’s hard to imagine that it has any naysayers left. But if it does, Digitalism’s latest effort I Love You, Dude is sure to convert them. The German DJ duo employs heavy bass lines, unplugged vocals, distorted mumbles and even a Julian Casablancas collaboration on their sophomore LP, coaxing the surprisingly untapped market of arena rock fans. Those who snubbed Digitalism as a lesser Daft Punk or Justice will be pleasantly surprised to see them break new ground. They elegantly fuse hard electro with more accessible rock elements, while also managing to branch away from the aforementioned groups’ brand of “robot rock.”
Digitalism have toured from time to time during the four years since their debut, but it is apparent that most of their time has instead been spent in the studio. I Love You, Dude is a well-polished collection of only ten tracks and each one flows seamlessly into the next. They have crafted a transformative sound that is sure to earn them a new fanbase, but those who were partial to Idealism’s whimsical electro-punk might not be as pleased.
If their goal was to escape the Daft Punk knock-off allegations, then they succeeded. If their goal was to take electronic music to the masses then they definitely succeeded—but their success was achieved at the cost of their original sound. Idealism was a synth-driven dance party; I Love You, Dude is a more serious venture into rock music. The latter’s genre-bending production makes it an important album but it lacks the excitement of its predecessor. Only Digitalism’s next album will tell if this new style is a simple experiment or a full-blown transformation.