Spin-off projects very rarely yield great results but all the members of New Order can at least boast significant arguments to the contrary. As well as the terrific first album by Electronica, less heralded treats include Monaco’s debut and The Other Two’s contributions; the latter being the self-consciously titled project from husband and wife duo Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert. Originally concentrating on TV soundtrack work, The Other Two released two albums over a six-year period.
Although they somehow avoided the charts, ‘Tasty Fish’and ‘Selfish’ are perfect electro-pop singles. In lesser hands, they would sound cheap; here they sound fresh, vibrant and incredibly infectious. As for the album as a whole, ‘The Other Two And You’ is still poppy but not as disposable as you might think.
Indeed ‘The Greatest Thing’ and ‘Feel This Love’ are top quality smooth Euro-pop with a melancholic edge whilst ‘Moving On’ is uptempo in outlook even if its underlying story (a Thelma and Louise-style tale) is less so. One of the keys is Gillian Gilbert’s voice which is crystal clear and perfectly suited to the synth pop movement; hard to imagine that Kim Wilde almost ended up fronting the band. There is, however, a fair amount of filler, instrumentals such as ‘Spirit Level’ and ‘Night Voice’ do not need to be heard again but the Gilbert-voiced tracks all offer something worth hearing.
This LTM reissue is augmented by some pretty decent alternative mixes too; Moby’s ambient take on ‘Moving On’ being the standout. Tellingly, The Other Two’s bittersweet tunes can lay claim to showing the way forward for the likes of Dubstar, Snowblind and a slew of other female-fronted electronica acts.
New Order, Dubstar, Snowblind, Life Project