Pnau’s latest artist album ‘Soft Universe’ is the finest example yet of their epic techno pop. The faster, more uptempo tracks are their most accessible and uplifting ventures yet into the territory of supercharged anthemica. But it is far from an album of club bangers: ‘Soft Universe’ is a pop record in the traditional sense, one that sees Pnau’s Peter Mayes and Nick Littlemore branching out into classic songcraft, including subtly orchestrated ballads. It feels big, ambitious, expansive – like a musical composed by U2, arranged by Prince and Giorgio Moroder, and based on the songs of Taupin and John.
‘Soft Universe’ is a sort of dance-album version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Blood On The Tracks’, an exercise in catharsis. “It’s more postcards from the edge,” decides Nick, who describes the last two years as “the lowest point, emotionally, in my life.” But as he says, “It’s been very important to take something negative and turn it into something positive.
No wonder ‘Everybody’ and the other tracks on the album such as ‘A Better Way’, ‘The Truth’, ‘Solid Ground’ and ‘Unite Us’ surge with positive energy and a sense of the euphoria you get when you emerge from a period of despair. “We’ve taken a very personal experience and made it global.”
Pnau recently joined forces with Elton John to release ‘Good Morning to the Night’ – an album that boldly re-imagined songs from Elton’s early back catalogue in glorious electronic technicolour. The album went to No. 1 in the UK album charts and received widespread critical acclaim.