“I was in love, and I knew he loved me because he’d made me a tape,” purrs Saint Etienne frontwoman Sarah Cracknell on the opener of the band’s eighth album. But that retro-glazed fragility, a hallmark for the English trio, evaporates into pulsing electro-pop on its first album in seven years. If the band’s last album, “Tales From the Turnpike House,” was a quiet Sunday morning in bed with a P.G. Wodehouse novel, “Words and Music by Saint Etienne” is a tarted-up Friday night on the town. Cracknell sounds as glittery as Kylie Minogue as she coos, “All I want to talk about is touch me, touch me.” The band has danced down this road before, but
never in such an unapologetic, nonstop forum.
The dizzying succession of beats per minute paired with thoughtful lyrics about music’s role in shaping memories gives Saint Etienne a chance to create a rare entity: Dance music for the thinking person. (Out now)
ESSENTIAL: “I’ve Got Your Music”