After a decade-long career, Chris Todd and James Baron have decided to get rid of the Penis moniker for the "more commercially viable name" Crazy P. That said, they haven't lost any of their funk, groove or soul (yes, kids, we're talking old-fashioned dance music here) in the process. The only difference is that nowadays Danielle Moore is the band's full-time vocalist, a fact that ends up being this album's strongest and weakest selling point. See, Moore's vocals are overtly soulful and fervent, but they impose themselves so strongly that it gets hard at times to focus on anything else. The title track and album opener, for instance, is one-third diva house and one-third acid, but also one-third sophisticated pop à la M People. (Ask your grandmother.) While it is coming from a place of obvious musicianship, it unfortunately also verges on Buddha Bar-esque evanescent emotionality.
It's not all that, er, easily forgettable: "Never Gonna Reach Me" is an ambitious seven-minute cut that is destined to become a live favorite, "Fascination" happily recalls Nile Rodgers-produced early Madonna (!) and "Give a Little" has a restlessness built on pounding live drumming and ornamental strings. But again, in all cases, it's Moore's delivery that is stealing a show rigidly cast in late '70s aesthetics. "Too Far" is the closest the album ever gets to actual house euphoria, but it's house music circa its inchoative state (i.e. free of European techno shine). Needless to say, this album epitomizes the definition of the word "retro."
It's hard to imagine which contemporary house DJ would play the songs on Stop Space Return and what club surroundings it would rightfully fit in. Even the space disco/nü-Balearic scene luminaries would want to get rid of the vocals first. Therefore, this is first and foremost the stuff of early Saturday evening home listening for young executives and professionals in their early 30s who think Jamie Jones is too heavy and weird. But even though they might have got ridden of all the explicit phallic inclinations, there is still plenty of light pelvic action in the Crazy P store for anyone willing to shamelessly indulge the more traditionally trained disco route.