Genre/Influences: Electro-pop, EBM.
Format: Digital, CD.
Background/Info: “Minor Side-Effects” is Finnish electro-pop project Neuroactive’s eight album to date. It however is a special one as it marks the comeback of the project after a silence of six years, but it also is a move back to the roots as mastermind Jarkko Tuohimaa asked core members Ville Brusi and Vesa Raine to rejoin the band. After having released their three first albums on the defunct Cyberware Productions and the other albums on the also defunct A Different Drum, Neuroactive signed to Alfa Matrix.
Content: The album takes off with the title track, which is an instrumental piece carried by a solid bass line and irresistible electro-space sound treatments. It in a way characterizes the sound of Neuroactive, which has always been apart from average electro-pop formations. Neuroactive has this very own sound DNA featuring a kind of space-pop driven by danceable rhythms. The clear-like vocals are perfectly matching. The album is also featuring the previously released single “Night flights”, which is the ‘club’-song from the album. The song “Climate Is Changing” has something more minimal. Notice by the way two songs are featuring guest vocals by Halo Effect singer John Peverieri.
+ + + : Neuroactive is back and that’s a rather good thing and especially the input of the early members is something extra. The songwriting remains elaborated, even sophisticated and definitely something special. Neuroactive has always dealt with a different sound than the rest; it’s pretty electro-pop, but not in the truest sense of the meaning. That makes this band easily recognizable. It’s hard to say if this album is the best one in the band’s history, but it for sure stands for a mature production featuring essential cuts. There’s a perfect balance between music and vocals.
– – – : I can’t say if it’s a regret, but the album is maybe missing an absolute hit in the vein of “Space Divider”.
Conclusion: This is an interesting come back for electro-pop lovers in search of something different.
Best songs: “Night Flights”, “Minor Side-Effects”, “Climate Is Changing”, “Dances”.