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Fred Astereo "I Love You" CD $18 (L&L020) Add To Basket.


Anyone with an ear for a great oldies radio station, playing ballads by Perry Como, Frank Ifield — or perhaps some ancient doo wop group that you've never known the name of — will fall head over heels for Fred Astereo, the solo outing for Stanley Paulzen (Ruck Rover, ex-Tlot Tlot). With its tinkering pianos and tender, pristine harmonies, the debut album "I Love You" casts musically back to a time when drive-ins were the ideal place to have your heart broken, whilst lyrically Fred Astereo transport us to a far more oblique place altogether. Sexually ambiguous and undoubtedly wry, this album may take a few listens to reveal itself, and only just.

1) Sleepytown
2) That's Maths
3) Vera
4) Kooky Little Miss
5) The Juggling Boy
6) Egg
7) Oh, Rebecca
8) The Boyfriend Song
9) How Many Brides?
10) Robot Girl

"If you pine for the good ol' days when musical artists were exactly that, or if Perry Como or Andy Williams are more your pace, then Fred Astereo's 'I Love You’ will please you no end.

Formerly a four piece, now a solo affair, vocalist and singer/ songwriter Paulzen, borrows from the past, tinkers around with the sound and style and turns it into something a little more immediate and relevant.

The opening track ‘Sleepytown’ is classic 50‘s sophistication and even comes with that old record scratchiness which sits beautifully behind it. Just exquisite!

A mix of delightful melodies, fun piano play, old school pop class and a some off kilter lyrics, 'I Love You’ is the kind of release best enjoyed next to open fire sipping sherry, while laughing at dirty jokes. Bound to soothe your soul (if only to smile at) there are tracks to relax by (‘The Juggling Boy’), songs to not take too seriously (‘Kooky Little Miss’ and ‘The Boyfriend Song’) as well as genuinely interesting tunes (‘Oh Rebecca’ and ‘Vera’). A fine release worth more than a cursory glance." Mark Rasmussen,

"This could only have come out of Melbourne's love of cabaret and ironic, but still heartfelt kitsch. Fred Astereo is the sound of one cardigan clapping, of a swinging but nice boy and his pristine young lass around the wireless. And everyone is smiling.

It works like this: take Perry Como and a dash of bachelor pad music, bring in some doo wop and a big swig of Orange Juice, then spice it with occasional barbed lyrics, barefaced puns and lines which can rhyme mathematic with asth-a-matic.

Scarily, Stanley Paulzen sounds like Greg "Yellow Wiggle" Page but hey, don't tell the kiddies. " Bernard Zuel, Sydney Morning Herald

"When Stanley Paulzen (Fred Astereo) materialises at the Troubadour tonight, he’s met by the grinning faces of only a few pop stalwarts who have made the pilgrimage on this surprisingly bleak Sunday evening.

The bearded balladeer fires up the backing-band-in-a-can and launches whole and fool-heartedly into tracks from his croon-pop diamond I Love You. The growing crowd seem slightly taken aback by Fred’s confronting approach to crowd interaction, as he takes a swipe at anyone foolish enough to walk to the bathroom or answer their mobile phone.

His lush songs of misguided love swing lazily from a star and, just as the crowd begin to warm to Mr Astereo’s possibly gin-induced battiness, he’s gone." Time Off - Live Review

"I love it when you're sitting on the bus and you spy someone with headphones on sporting a stupid grin. If you're me, you assume one of three things about the person. Either a) they're on drugs, b) they're in love or c) they're idiots who enjoy the "humour" of commercial radio morning crews. Well, this week I've been the one sporting the grin; and I defy anyone to listen to 'I Love You' and not smile. That's assuming you're clever enough to get it. And, let's not mince words, if you love commercial radio morning shows, you're probably not.

Fred Astereo is Ruck Rover's Stanley Paulzen and 'I Love You' is, as far as my research can tell, the debut release under the Fred Astereo moniker. Opening with the delightfully happy Sleepytown, one is immediately drawn in by Paulzen's gorgeous, almost baritone voice. Imagine Stephin Merritt with the phrasing of Morrissey and you're pretty close. Coupled with lush arrangements ranging from classic do-wop to big band, from rumba to country and a generous helping of obvious musical cliches and you'd almost be forgiven for slotting this into the "crooners" section. However, you'd be foolish to do so. Sure, the songs are sweet, charming and brimming with charisma but there's also an underlying darkly wry humour and sexual ambiguity that warrants closer inspection. And really, when was the last time you heard Sinatra use the word "omnivore" in a song?

It's hard to pinpoint a highlight as every song is a gem, though I haven't been able to get Vera out of my head, and it's harder still to only listen to the album once: it's really that good. So turn off the radio and get this album now. Robot Girl would want you to." Sasha Pazeski, db Magazine