Neon Neon - I Told Her On Alderaan

Neil Watts 30/06/2008

Rating: 4/5

Side-projects are something of an extra-curricular activity for the discerning musician of the 21st Century. This would explain why so many pop stars have chosen to unleash their often bizarre and out-of-the-ordinary alter-ego on the puzzled but normally receptive public. Often by adopting a new guise they are given a new found musical freedom. Neon Neon's debut album Stainless Style has proven just that.

Gruff Rhys has never been the most normal of artistes so the fact that he has teamed up with producer/musician Boom Bip shouldn't really come as a great surprise. But, did anyone really expect there ever to be a concept album about John Delorean? For the uninitiated he was the playboy businessman who invented the gull-winged DeLorean DMC-12 that would go on to reach infamy with Michael J Fox behind the wheel in Back To The Future (as well as actually being poorly made and a bit shit).

Though, that also ignores the fact that their latest single just so happens to be a love song that references Princess Leia's home planet, which was blown up by the Death Star. This is an undeniably oddball subject, but the dreamy electro-pop the duo produce is all the better for being filtered through 1980s pop culture. It is a joyful mix of genres that never ceases to be engrossing.