(Expansion Team)


In a recent issue, Blender awarded its monthly "we didn't even bother opening the shrink-wrap" pictorial nod to this album's Boris Vallejo–painted cover art, like that of a purple-penned romance epic. Too bad—surely the most archmainstream of music magazines would find its heart warmed by a foldout inside cover replicating the color scheme and lettering of Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Better, though, to enjoy the album for what it is: space disco so rococo it rivals Daft Punk's Discovery for pure shamelessness. We're talking beautifully mic'd live drums on top of round-toned programmed ones, laser-line synth playing over concentric-circular synth programming, all of it both coy and assured, twee and muscular. "Out of Phase" features a misleading title: Every one of its seven minutes is locked in confident step. Giorgio Moroder and Tangerine Dream are constant referents here, and unlike many of his fellow cosmic-disco revivalists, Moulton convinces us he's as overheated as Eurodisco predecessors like Cerrone. (Hence the cover art.) He believes in the groove so much he mixes it up in his head with the Pink Floyd epics he also grew up on, and turns Exodus into a dream matchup: every song linked, instrumental touches bombastic (dig the preening drum fills on "Flaming Swords"), mood pensive, the whole thing both tongue-in-cheek and not tongue-in-cheek at all.

But good cheese sharpens with age. Moulton's taste for Vangelis can strain your attention, and sometimes the arpeggiated synth lines can suggest a cosmos that isn't as vast or endless as it might first appear. But the guy has audacity for damn sure, and much of Exodus flaunts it with style. If ever a dance record deserved its own Laserium show, this is it.