I wonder whether this (and the album's somewhat mechanistic title, "X&Y") means that the band, known for their unchallenging and somewhat schmaltzy easy-listening balladry, are attempting to go for a cold-and-detached aesthetic; perhaps to appeal to nostalgic late-thirtysomethings who grew up listening to Factory Records bands but have since mellowed somewhat. Mind you, if they take it too far, it could alienate their fanbase (ironically enough, the band they were groomed by the press to replace after they went too weird, Radiohead, did something much like that). Then again, I'm sure the band and their label know which side their bread is buttered on. Perhaps this means is that there will be a veneer of retro-fashionable electronic glitchyness grafted over the usual reassuringly saccharine core of ballads.
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