As supportive as Hans-Peter Lindstrøm's fans have been of his random acts of creative fitfulness, one wouldn't blame them for feeling a bit tested by his most recent string of output. Between his brilliant but impractical 2008 long-player Where You Go I Go Too and his 42-minute refit of "Little Drummer Boy", two of the Norwegian producer's recent major releases have accounted for nearly 100 minutes of music across a scant four tracks. In a scene where an elongated 12-minute remix is par for the course, that's still hard going. Real Life Is No Cool isn't just the achingly stylish and neatly accessible dance record to end all that, it also constitutes a fresh new take on the strand of retro-futurism that Lindstrøm helped create. The main difference is that whereas a lot of his output has been rooted in a genre-- disco, Balearic, new age-- Real Life Is No Cool often feels more like an attack on the very idea. It's almost as if Lindstrøm's response to years of genre exercise has been to atomise all of his influences into mist. What remains is a free-floating collection of sounds that not only still works as pastiche, but also somehow provides the basis for a remarkable dance record. Of course, it might well be that the reason Lindstrøm finds it easier to play loose with his productions is because he's got a voice like Christabelle's to anchor them. A Norwegian with Mauritian roots, she slides effortlessly into pretty much any groove he provides, moving between slippery spoken word and breathy falsetto with equal ease. Evidently years in the making, Real Life Is No Cool functions partly as a chronicle of the pair's working relationship, spanning as far back as 2003, when she was still recording under the name Solale. While those early collaborations, including the slinky Italo of "Music (In My Mind)" and the fluttering space disco workout "Let's Practise", make repeat appearances here, they barely hold their own alongside most of the newer material. Of the fresher tracks, the most immediate are probably "So Much Fun", a scattershot slice of end-of-the-evening disco that rivals Scissor Sisters at their friskiest; "Baby Can't Stop", an unequivocally shameless tribute to Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson that deserves airplay in even spite of Aeroplane's original-dwarfing remix; and "Lovesick", an irresistibly slinky head-nodder. Ultimately though, it's the slightly more unstructured, harder to hold tracks that make the most lasting impressions. Album opener "Looking For What" surfs along on a wobbly arpeggio, an occasional guitar chug, diffuse piano chords, and spoken-word samples; the stunning "Keep It Up" manages to transform a distinctly cheesy retro synth chime into a thing of effortless gorgeousness; and "High & Low" starts with a stodgy 1980s sitcom theme vamp before melting into something deliriously woozy. If the man and his long songs have been off your mixtape radar for the last little while, this should see an end to that.