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Praxis Makes Perfect

Praxis Makes Perfect is the second studio album by the pop-electronica-hip hop duo Neon Neon, which was produced by Boom Bip and Gruff Rhys, and the album was released on 29 April 2013 by Lex Records. Praxis Makes Perfect is a concept album based on the life of influential Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. The album charted at No. 43 in the United Kingdom.

Praxis Makes Perfect
Studio album by
Released29 April 2013 (2013-04-29)
GenrePop, electronica, hip hop
43:56 (with Years of Lead EP)
ProducerBoom Bip, Gruff Rhys
Neon Neon chronology
Stainless Style
Praxis Makes Perfect
Singles from Praxis Makes Perfect
  1. "Mid Century Modern Nightmare"
    Released: 10 April 2013
  2. "Hammer & Sickle"
    Released: 5 May 2013


Heather Phares of Allmusic told that "aside from the biographical concept and the largely electronic arrangements, they don't repeat themselves much."[1] At Fact, Steve Shaw affirmed that the release "possesses all of the keen humour of the former, modest and understated to a tee."[2] Dan Lucas of Under the Radar said that "the appeal of the album lies in its musicianship and perfect production", and that the "synths and drum machines create a panic-laden sci-fi landscape; meanwhile, acoustic guitars slip deftly in and out of the songs."[3] At Mojo, Andy Cowan felt that the release "achieves the tricky balancing act between playful [...] and poignant". David Welsh of musicOMH said that the release iis "crammed with literary snippets," and has "realpolitik themes", however "for all the fresh blood, this is familiar territory."[4] At NME, Alex Hoban noted that "ironically, the depth of the source material shows up the problem with concept albums – no matter how great the idea, it still needs killer hooks."[5] Anna Wilson Clash wrote that it is "audaciously ambitious in conceptual scope, it’s not evenly matched in musicality."[6] PopMatters' Evan Sawdey noted that "the album is missing that quintessential 'something', their lyrics more pointed yet somehow less focused, their journey meandering, their use of narration forcing the concept upon the listener instead of letting it happen naturally."[7] At Loud and Quiet, Chris Watkeys told that in "listening to this album [it] feels like walking around inside a glistening, neon pink kaleidoscope, or a musical sweet shop where there aren't any flavours you don't like."[8]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [1]
Evening Standard     [9]
Fact     [2]
The Guardian     [10]
Mojo     [11]
musicOMH     [4]
The Observer     [12]
Q     [13]
The Skinny     [14]

Praxis Makes Perfect has received generally positive reception by music critics. At Metacritic, the assign a "weighted average" score to ratings and reviews from selected mainstream music critics, which based on 21 reviews, the album holds a Metascore of 71.[15] At AnyDecentMusic?, they assign a "weighted average" rating to selected mainstream ratings and reviews, which based on 24 reviews, the album has a rating of 7.1-out-of-ten.[16]

Heather Phares of Allmusic wrote that "this is a wonderfully entertaining collection of pop songs that just happen to be well-versed in history and political and economic theories."[1] At Fact, Steve Shaw highlighted that this album is "displaying a razor wit and awareness of a goal at the same time."[2] Dan Lucas of Under the Radar said that "Praxis Makes Perfect confirms the pun-happy pairing as leaders in the admittedly niche genre of concept albums about historical figures with whom listeners may at first not be familiar."[3] At Mojo, Andy Cowan called the effort "a master-class in high-voltage electronic pop, whether you buy into its concept or not." Simon McEwen of Q told that the album in being "concise at just 30 minutes, perphaps explaining why 'the concept' is not fully realised, but it is still unlikely you'll hear a better anti-fascist-Marxists-electro-pop record all year."[13] Drowned in Sound's Aaron Lavery rated the album an 8-out-of-ten, and wrote that it "works better as a cohesive record, dipping you into a strange mix of left-wing politics and cheery synth pop."[17] At This Is Fake DIY, David Rowlinson rated the album an 8-out-of-ten, and wrote that the album is imbued "with an undoubtable sincerity", and noted how the release "transcends any concept and leaves you with simple endearing pop moments you just can’t help but fall for."[18] Chris Watkeys of Loud and Quiet rated the album an 8-out-of-ten, and called this "a half-hour slice of perfectly formed, instantly accessible, shiny melodic sonic joy."[8] At The Skinny, Wilbur Kane proclaimed this album to be "a synthesised delight."[14]

At NME, Alex Hoban told that "Ultimately the confusion and convolution is all part of the charm on this adventure into a world of history and imagination."[5] David Welsh of musicOMH wrote that the "side project, collaboration or fully fledged act, Neon Neon have a Mercury nomination under their belts – and now a follow-up LP that, for better or worse, peddles the same worthy wares."[4] Pitchfork's Marc Hogan rated the album a 7.0-out-of-ten, and said that "Praxis Makes Perfect's songs never quite hit the highs of its predecessor's best tracks, but it's a more coherent album, and still strangely rewarding in its own way."[19] At Clash, Anna Wilson rated the album a 7-out-of-ten, and noted that "nevertheless an appealing curio and trailblazer in the small sphere of biographical concept albums."[6]

However, The Guardian's Maddy Costa told that "Praxis doesn't quite make perfect on the second album [...] but there are times when it comes close."[10] At The Observer, Kitty Empire wrote that "Praxis Makes Perfect might lack in fresh musical directions [...] their percolating analogue-digital pop remains little altered [...] it makes up for in apposite italophile detail."[12] Sam Richards of Uncut rated the album a 6-out-of-ten, and called the album "fun", yet at the same time "musically filmsy", and wrote that "the songs here aren't quite as strong" as on the first album.[20] At the Evening Standard, David Smyth noted that "the lo-fi electronica sound is less imaginative than the concept but the tunes lift this sparse oddity."[9] PopMatters' Evan Sawdey rated the album a 4-out-of-ten, and told that "after listening to the album, however, perhaps we can expect something a bit more focused in five more."[7]

Commercial performanceEdit

Praxis Makes Perfect was the No. 43 sold album in all of the United Kingdom in its debut week. The albums spent a total of two weeks on the chart.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Neon Neon; Except where indicated.

1."Praxis Makes Perfect"2:53
2."The Jaguar"3:01
3."Dr. Zhivago"3:51
4."Hoops with Fidel"2:54
5."Hammer & Sickle"2:51
6."Shopping (I Like To)" (featuring Sabrina)3:06
7."Mid Century Modern Nightmare" (featuring Cate Le Bon)1:58
8."The Leopard" (featuring Erica Daking)3:15
9."Listen to the Rainbow"3:24
10."Ciao Feltrinelli"4:02
Total length:31:15
Limited Edition Deluxe CD2 - Years of Lead
1."Years of Lead"Neon Neon, Josiah Clark Steinbrick3:32
2."Non Aligned States"Neon Neon, Josiah Clark Steinbeck3:42
3."Socialism at Sea (Take in the Sails, Head into the Wind)" 2:31
4."Fuga in Avanti"Neon Neon, Josiah Clark Steinbrick2:48
Total length:12:34


Chart performanceEdit

Chart (2013) Peak
UK Albums (OCC)[21] 43


  1. ^ a b c Phares, Heather (April 29, 2013). "Praxis Makes Perfect - Neon Neon : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Shaw, Steve (April 23, 2013). "Neon Neon Praxis Makes Perfect". Fact. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Lucas, Dan (May 7, 2013). "Neon Neon: Praxis Makes Perfect (Lex)". Under the Radar. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Welsh, David (April 24, 2013). "Neon Neon - Praxis Makes Perfect". musicOMH. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Hoban, Alex (April 26, 2013). "NME Album Reviews - Neon Neon - 'Praxis Makes Perfect'". NME. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Wilson, Anna (April 26, 2013). "Neon Neon - Praxis Makes Perfect". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Sawdey, Evan (May 1, 2013). "Neon Neon: Praxis Makes Perfect". PopMatters. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Watkeys, Chris (April 1, 2013). "Neon Neon – Praxis Makes Perfect". Loud and Quient. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  9. ^ a b Smyth, David (April 26, 2013). "Album reviews: April 2013". Evening Standard. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Costa, Maddy (April 25, 2013). "Neon Neon: Praxis Makes Perfect – review". The Guardian. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  11. ^ Cowan, Andy. "Super duo reunite for potted pop history of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli". Mojo. Bauer Media Group. May 2013 (234): 90. ISSN 1351-0193. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Empire, Kitty (April 27, 2013). "Neon Neon: Praxis Makes Perfect - review". The Observer. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  13. ^ a b McEwen, Simon. "Electro-poppers' second conceptual effort". Q. Bauer Media Group. May 2013 (322): 106. ISSN 0955-4955. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Kane, Wilbur (April 3, 2013). "Neon Neon – Praxis Makes Perfect". The Skinny. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  15. ^ Metacritic (April 23, 2013). "Critic Reviews form Praxis Makes Perfect". CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  16. ^ AnyDecentMusic? (April 29, 2013). "Praxis Makes Perfect by Neon Neon reviews". PalmerWatson. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  17. ^ Lavery, Aaron (April 26, 2013). "Neon Neon – Praxis Makes Perfect". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  18. ^ Rowlinson, David (April 24, 2013). "Neon Neon - Praxis Makes Perfect". This Is Fake DIY. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  19. ^ Hogan, Marc (May 6, 2013). "Neon Neon: Praxis Makes Perfect". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  20. ^ Richards, Sam. "More retro concept pop from Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip". Uncut. IPC Media. May 2013 (192): 75. ISSN 1368-0722. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  21. ^ "NEON NEON | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.