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Three years after Lauer's 2012 debut, Phillips (RB 004CD/LP), on Running Back, the melody man from the outback of Frankfurt am Main presents Borndom: a 13-track trip through a universe that is specifically his. Lauer is far from a stranger to Permanent Vacation, with singles like Delta Kid (PERMVAC 057EP, 2010) or Donner Lake (PERMVAC 123EP, 2014) heralding things to come; the label and Lauer share a spiritual kinship and ethos. Lauer's music is rooted in pop music and mixed with the reactance and sound aesthetics of punk, while wearing dancing shoes; you'll be hard-pressed to find lots of contemporaries that till a similar field. With a sound signature, a melodic repertoire, and an emotional quality that is immediately recognizable, Lauer's work is highly individualized. Unlike his other adventures in club music (he hardly lets a week go by without a release or a remix for the most critically-acclaimed outfits on this planet, either on his own, under the Hotel Lauer umbrella, or as part of Tuff City Kids), his second album makes the most use of these moments and that specific stylistic palette. Of course, you can find typical high-flying Lauer moments like "Mausback" or "Hump Acid" or the nu-groove-esque desire-dubbed "Pal Oh," but the image of a singer-songwriter with a midi-kit prevails. There are miniatures like "Carpet," the blissful melancholia of the opener "Crewners," the album's title-track that sounds like the lost soundtrack to an '80s sitcom about college nerds, and, maybe most startling, Borndom's vocal features. "ESC With Jasnau" is the proverbial cold-wave mating dance in the neon light, while the two songs with Ela take care of romantic highs and lows. With a sound like something that a band of the past made to be heard in a very distant future, Phillip Lauer's second album sees him at his most matured and endured: Borndom!