Real Life Is No Cool

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Real Life Is No Cool
Real Life Is No Cool.jpg
Studio album by
Lindstrøm & Christabelle
ReleasedJanuary 18, 2010
Length47:10 (standard edition)
89:45 (with bonus disc)
LabelFeedelity, Smalltown Supersound
Lindstrøm chronology
Where You Go I Go Too
Real Life Is No Cool
Six Cups of Rebel

Real Life Is No Cool is a 2010 album by Norwegian musician Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and Norwegian-Mauritian singer Christabelle. The Lindstrøm-produced album was released January 18, 2010 in the UK and in the United States the following day, on the Oslo-based Smalltown Supersound label. The special edition of the album was released with a bonus disc, containing six remixes. An exclusive edition containing a second disc which featured Lindstrøm's disco version of the Christmas classic Little Drummer Boy, was available only from the London record store Rough Trade's website.[1] This edition of the album was released November 30, 2009. The album's title is taken from a lyric in the track "Keep It Up".[2]

Album history[edit]

Lindstrøm first met Christabelle (Isabelle Sandoo, then known as Solale) in 2001, while he shared studio time with her brother, DJ Dennis Jr. Lindstrøm listened to some of Solale's tracks, and got interested in collaborating with her.[2] The first collaboration between Lindstrøm and Christabelle was the 12" titled "Music (In My Mind)" from 2003. Then in 2007, Lindstrøm released the 12" "Let's Practice" and the 10" "Let It Happen", which also featured Christabelle on vocals. These three tracks appeared at their first collaboration album, "Real Life Is No Cool".[3]

A collaborative album between the duo was planned since they first started working together, but didn't materialized until 2010, due to Lindstrøm's hectic schedule. They began working on the album in 2008, before Lindstrøm released his debut studio album Where You Go I Go Too. Following this album's critical success, a hype was created around Lindstrøm's music, fueled by an overwhelming interest from music magazines, blogs and clubs.[4] In December 2009, Lindstrøm released his 42-minutes long version of Little Drummer Boy. It sparked huge interest and was mentioned in countless music blogs, among others by Edmund Conway in The Daily Telegraph.[5]

As stated by the duo on Norwegian television show "Lydverket", several of the songs were improvised in the studio.[6] They also performed "Lovesick" at the show. Lindstrøm is known among music journalists for preferring to work in studio, rather than performing live. However, he and Christabelle went on tour in March 2010.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5 /5 stars[8]
The A.V. Club(A-)[9]
The Guardian4 /5 stars[10]
No Ripcord(7/10)[11]
Pitchfork Media(8.1/10.0)[12]
Rolling Stone3.0 /5 stars[14]
Spin3.5 /5 stars[15]
URB5 /5 stars[16]

The album was met with generally favorable reviews by critics, and generated a score of 80/100 on the review calculator Metacritic.[17] Several critics applauded Lindstrøm's new pop-oriented format,[18] and his new take on disco, mixing Balearic beat, space disco, house and new wave.[19] Christabelle's voice was described as "sexy and whispering"[20] and Matthew Richardson in Prefix Magazine praised her contributions as being "alternately enthusiastic, aloof, earnest, and esoteric". Most critics highlighted the track "Baby Can't Stop", noting the similarity to Michael Jackson's 1982 hit Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' and his Thriller album.[8] The collaboration between the two Norwegians was compared to Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder's work together in the 1970s.[21][22] Louis Pattison in BBC Music described the experimental penultimate track "Never Say Never" as a "...whirl of backwards beats, twinkling harps and discombobulated vocals that’s both utterly disorientating and quite delightful." [23]

In an interview with XLR8R, Lindstrøm and Christabelle named the songs "Juicy Fruit" by Mtume, "Between the Sheets" by The Isley Brothers and "Computer Love" by Zapp & Roger as references for their work. They also said that they had tried to record a cover of the latter, without success, stating "maybe it's just too perfect".[24]

Chart history[edit]

Real Life Is No Cool debuted at #19 on the Norwegian album chart. The week after it fell to #39, before slipping out of the chart. The album didn't manage to peak higher than Lindstrøm's debut album Where You Go I Go Too, which peaked at #11.[25] "Lovesick" was released as a digital promo single at March 22, 2010. It performed well at the Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders), where it peaked at #12 and has stayed 4 weeks on the chart.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
Norwegian Albums Chart [25] 19


Chart (2010) Peak
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders) 12
Dutch Singles Chart [26] 74

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Lindstrøm and Christabelle, except where noted.

  1. "Looking For What" – 6:06
  2. "Lovesick" – 3:12
  3. "Let It Happen" (Vangelis, Dassin) – 4:53
  4. "Keep It Up" - 3:28
  5. "Music In My Mind" - 3:19
  6. "Baby Can't Stop" - 6:11
  7. "Let's Practise" - 5:42
  8. "So Much Fun" - 4:55
  9. "Never Say Never" - 3:08
  10. "High & Low" - 6:21

Bonus disc[edit]

  1. Baby Can't Stop (Aeroplane Vocal remix) - 7:24
  2. Baby Can't Stop (Prins Thomas remix) - 9:29
  3. Baby Can't Stop (Idjut Boys remix) - 7:32
  4. Looking For What (Sally Shapiro remix) - 6:59
  5. So Much Fun (Dølle Jølle remix) - 7:58
  6. Lovesick (Fan Death rework) - 3:17

Exclusive Rough Trade edition[edit]

  1. Little Drummer Boy - 42:42



  • Christabelle Sandoo - vocals and songwriting
  • Hans-Peter Lindstrøm - songwriting, electronics, recording and mixing.
  • Marita Sørlie - additional vocals on "Baby Can't Stop"
  • Eivind Lønning - trumpet on "Baby Can't Stop"
  • Erik Johanessen - trombone on "Baby Can't Stop"
  • Knut Sævik - horn arrangements, additional mixing and recording
  • Kim Hiorthøy - artwork


  1. ^ "Hear Lindstrøm's "Little Drummer Boy" | News". Pitchfork. 2009-11-27. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  2. ^ a b "Interview : Lindstrom « Dirtbag Journalism". 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  3. ^ Resident advisor
  4. ^ [1] Archived February 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "The ultimate version of Little Drummer Boy". The Daily Telegraph. London. 2009-12-23.
  6. ^ "NRK Nett-TV - hastighetsmåling". Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  7. ^ "Lindstrom & Christabelle (Album out now!) | blog op Myspace". Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  8. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "Allmusic: Real Life Is No Cool review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  9. ^ Battaglia, Andy (2010-02-02). "The A.V. Club: Real Life Is No Cool review". The Onion. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  10. ^ Petridis, Alexis (2010-01-22). "The Guardian: Real Life Is No Cool review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  11. ^ White, Jody (2010-02-01). "No Ripcord: Real Life Is No Cool review". No Ripcord. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  12. ^ Pytlik, Mark (2010-01-20). "Pitchfork Media: Real Life Is No Cool review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  13. ^ Gabriele, Timothy (2010-01-21). "PopMatters: Real Life Is No Cool review". PopMatters. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  14. ^ Hermes, Will (2010-03-15). "Rolling Stone: Real Life Is No Cool review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  15. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (2009-12-23). "Spin: Real Life Is No Cool review". Spin. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  16. ^ Brunstad, Svein (2010-01-29). "URB: Real Life Is No Cool review". URB. Retrieved 2010-04-09.
  17. ^ "Real Life Is No Cool Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  18. ^ Battaglia, Andy (2010-02-02). "Lindstrom & Christabelle:Real Life Is No Cool | Music | Music Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  19. ^ "Lindstrøm & Christabelle: Real Life Is No Cool | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  20. ^ "Lindstrøm & Christabelle – Real Life Is No Cool". Urb.Com. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  21. ^øm-christabelle-real-life-is-no-cool/1991
  22. ^ Gabriele, Timothy. "Lindstrøm and Christabelle: Real Life Is No Cool < PopMatters". Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  23. ^ "Music - Review of Lindstrøm and Christabelle - Real Life Is No Cool". BBC. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  24. ^ "Five Star: Lindstrøm & Christabelle discuss their favorite musical duets of all time". XLR8R. 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  25. ^ a b Steffen Hung (2010-04-19). "Lindstrøm & Christabelle - Real Life Is No Cool". Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  26. ^ Steffen Hung. "Lindstrøm & Christabelle - Lovesick". Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  27. ^ Cadillac CTS-V commercial

External links[edit]