'Elastic Truths For These Plastic Days...' So says Pete Teo in 'Television'. 12 months in the making, this 11-track album is a significant departure from his debut 'Rustic Living for Urbanites'. Gone is the soul-searching introspection that so lushly and effectively defined the earlier work, and in it's place, a bitter-sweet critique of George Bush's America. From the opening stanza of 'Lost In America', it is obvious that this is exceptional work. In lesser hands, a song that is premised upon the idea that America is 'lost' would likely resort to recrimination before long. Yet Teo eschews such easy conclusions. Rather, he invokes sadness for the loss of the American ideal while simultaneously decrying the excesses of her imperial intentions. This is rare sophistication. Not least because it gives the song a righteous power that mindless ranting could never attain. Not that such deftness of touch would surprise fans of this intriguing singer songwriter. Known as much in his home country for his cerebral dynamism as his artistry, Teo's work has always been characterized more by cerebral depth than sloganeering machismo. It is such that 'Hide Your Gun', an anti-war lament, devastatingly juxtaposes domestic peace with the utter despair of war. It is also such that 'Carnival Hall', an ironic parody of our media obsessed existence, is driven along by a dancing bass line that is as infectious as it is technically impressive. Indeed, it is here where 'Television' stands furthest from the folk-infused sensibilities of it's predecessor. From the imperious piano solo in 'Sunday Best Shoes', to the compound time dexterity of 'Blow', and finally the aching beauty of 'Who For You?', this album is punctuated by many moments of sheer musical virtuosity. While this is not surprising given the stellar cast of musicians assembled here, that such technical brilliance is never allowed to overshadow the emotional resonance of the songs is perhaps the most laudable feat of an admirable artist in great form.