Radio 4's Stealing of a Nation has not aged well since its release last September. For starters, "Cut your losses and get the votes/Come fall they change every single quote," a hopeful lyric from "Nation," just sounds kind of depressing since November.
And that's not all. Though much of the album revives early-'80s punk-funk with the slick production sensibility of early-'90s dance-pop, Stealing doesn't feel stale because it revives those things; it feels stale because it feels stuck in that long-ago epoch of 2002 and 2003, when reviving early-'80s punk-funk with the slick production sensibility of early-'90s dance-pop still seemed like a good idea. Stealing is synth-saddled dance-rock without the Rapture's paranoid throb or the Killers' wit or Franz Ferdinand's louche sass; there's nothing to its retro stylings but good intentions, which are rarely enough. Hopefully, Tuesday night they'll inject the CD's songs with new life. Or new old life.
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