Simian Mobile Disco’s second album offers another 40 minutes of winningly hi-fi tech-house, but with one considerable departure from 2007’s Attack Decay Sustain Release: There’s a guest vocalist on nearly every track, and the featured talent offers much more than a simple, repeating chorus line. When Temporary Pleasure kicks off with “Cream Dream,” there’s no mistaking Simian’s clean, exacting synths, but there is change in the air, an ambience soon explained by the arrival of Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys. He makes the song his own, layering baritones and falsettos into Queen-y convergences, while SMD buttresses and envelops his words.
By neither ceding sonic control nor overwhelming the guests, the duo pulls off the nearly impossible: a respectable guest-laden dance album. For “Audacity Of Huge,” Yeasayer’s Chris Keating wraps his high keen around a series of humorous near-raps, while SMD responds with playful, Basement Jaxx-esque burble. Beth Ditto’s full lungs inspire a deeper house that also manages to conjure CeCe Peniston. The pair builds a gilded obelisk around Jamie Lidell’s sass, then fills the melancholy hollow mined by Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor with a pensive but sturdy groove. A collaboration with New York’s Telepathe actually begs for a full album of its own. Simian Mobile Disco’s astounding track record as a remix powerhouse is due in no small part to the group’s mastery of mood, and Temporary Pleasure benefits greatly from this. The album isn’t so much an improvement upon ADSR as it is an aside, but it’s a digression that should leave SMD even more steeled for its next instrumental set.