In mid 2006, house music began nudging up to the mainstream again. In the UK, artsy indie boys Hot Chip took the throbbing, multi-coloured pop of The Warning all the way to the shortlist of the year's Mercury Music Prize. Makeshift Feelgood, the long-awaited second album from veteran geezer DJs X-Press 2, was a joyful rush of giddy nu-Balearica and guest vocalists.
The second album from Canada's Junior Boys more quietly reboots house for the mid '00s. Yes, Frank Sinatra is in the mix, on a gorgeously ambient, aching version of 1959's "When No One Cares." "In the Morning" is another winner, a muscular groove built around panting gasps and seductive vocals. But that's about as leftfield as So This Is Goodbye gets: these are mostly tasteful, wide-open beatscapes that skirt perilously close to chill-out. And coffee-table electronica can sound even more jaded — if less interesting — than Ol 'Blue Eyes slumped at a bar in the wee small hours.