Friday, June 20, 2014

Neon Neon's Next Album

I've no idea whether or not Neon Neon (the synthpop nostalgia outfit helmed by Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip) will ever make another album. I sincerely hope they do, but frankly, the world is lucky to have seen even two LPs from the duo; after the release of Stainless Style, an '80s-themed album about John DeLorean, Gruff Rhys told a BBC interviewer: "I don't know about making another Neon Neon album because it was quite a specific record about DeLorean's life story." When a sequel (Praxis Makes Perfect) did materialise five years later, it felt like an unexpected bonus, and it would be ungrateful of me to demand yet more material from Camp Neon.

Nevertheless, I still hold a candle for Neon Neon , and even if it takes another five years, I'd love another slice of their biographical electro-pop pie. In fact, I'd be happy to get the wheels of inspiration turning for them - you see, both of NN's previous records were concept albums about the life and times of an interesting historical figure (Praxis Makes Perfect was all about communist publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli; Stainless Style, as already mentioned, concentrated on car mogul John DeLorean), and if Gruff and Boom and are uncertain as to who the next album should be about, I have the perfect suggestion:

Tom Anderson.

That's right, the founder of MySpace. His story is like a 21st-century remake of DeLorean's: a meteoric rise, sketchy extra-curricular activities*, and - eventually - a spectacular slump. MySpace is now the biggest joke on the internet, just as DeLorean's cars became the biggest joke in motoring.

The only thing missing is a death scene. Both Stainless Style and Praxis Makes Perfect ended with a sombre-yet-soaring final track (Stainless  Style and Ciao Feltrinelli, respectively), and it would be hard to write something like that for a man who is still alive.

Having said that, I suppose they could do something about Tom's 'afterlife': he sold MySpace for $580,000,000 in 2005, and in spite of MySpace's butt monkey status in social networking circles, he's been living the high life ever since. I'm imagining a very dark penultimate track about MySpace's epic collapse, followed by a sunny-sounding closer that finds Tom relaxing on some tropical island.

I'll leave the details to Gruff and Boom, obviously, but I for one would certainly buy a concept album about the life and times of MySpace Tom. Especially if that album had the same stunning pop chops as Stainless and Praxis.

Perhaps they could throw in a bit of nu-rave to go complement the mid-noughties theme?

*In his younger days, MySpace Tom was a prolific hacker; he once hacked into a bank, and only escaped punishment due to his age at the time. DeLorean was arrested for drug trafficking in 1982, but was eventually found not guilty.

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