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splendid > reviews > 11/2/2004
Styrofoam
Styrofoam
Nothing's Lost
Morr Music


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Couches in Alleys"

Buy me now
Styrofoam is Belgian musician and producer Arne Van Petegem, whose work bears few resemblances to its creator's stage name. Nothing's Lost is slick and rich, packed with melody and rhythm.

Van Petegem has recruited a host of collaborators from various genres, fleshing out his already melodic dance pop with even more unique textures. The biggest contribution comes from everybody's favorite guest artist, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service, who co-wrote "Couches in Alleys" and "Your Eyes Only". Gibbard also sings on "Couches", a lush track that's hampered only by the unnecessary distortion/modulation on his vocals -- he sounds like Cher in "Believe". The smooth rap by Alias on "Misguided", and Bent Van Looy and Miki Toshimura's bright vocals on "Anything", are additional contributed highlights.

While Styrofoam is buoyed by his guest stars, tracks like "Ticket Out of Town", which wreathes gentle melodies in compressed blurps and skips, show off Van Petegem's own songwriting and production chops. Nothing's Lost loses nothing in its execution, and gains much more than the sum of its donated parts.



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