6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
All right, do it right!,
This review is from: Proof Of Youth (Audio CD)
If the Go! Team's debut "Thunder Lightning Strike!" was a cheerleading squad on acid, then their second is the same squad taking over a club.
And "Proof of Youth" features this deliciously raucous, wild-sounding Brighton band splashing new sounds over their music. The quieter songs don't quite fit their sound as well, but fortunately most of the album is rollicking colourful rock'n'roll and quirky rap-pop, still fresh and fun.
"The blast from the past, superb in every word/Soupest female rapper, yes the best you heard... To you!/So what you wanna do?" It's a bit self-absorbed, but who cares? The first song -- and lead single -- is a frenetically-drummed, funky dance tune with their trademarked acid-funk-cheerleading-rock style. It'll make you dance, whether you like it or not.
It also sets the tone for the album, with loads of rollicking indiepop full of emphatic raps you can barely make out. Lots of blaring horns, schizophrenic synth, shimmering melodica, tinkly edges, wild riffs and bouncy, expansive melodies that are dizzying to listen to. The driving rock and powerpop hurtle you toward the finish line, the quirky, playful "Patricia's Moving Picture."
But the Go! Team also tries out some quieter songs -- "I Never Needed It Now So Much" is a straightforward indiepop tune with some wonky keyboard. And "My World" is a bit of a shock, with just a layer of keyboard over an acoustic instrumental. It's a letdown when it starts, and a shock when it switches over to the jumbled festival sound of "Titanic Vandalism."
Basically the Go! Team have much the same sound as before -- rap-funk-psychrock-pop as played by alien cheerleaders, and played with the same kind of wild enthusiasm. And to keep listeners astounded, "Proof of Life" just tries a few new things, polishes the edges, and tries for a more organic sound with fewer samples.
Okay, I didn't really like the quiet songs -- they didn't sound like the Go! Team, and didn't possess that volcanic energy. But all the other songs show why I adore this band: playfully colourful funky-pop, or wild, driving indie-rock/rap. The instrumentation is a dense tangle of roiling electric guitars, gentle acoustics, crazy smashing drums, xylophone chimes, a brassy array of trumpets, and waves and swooshes of colourful synth. Occasionally you can even hear a harmonica in there.
And the samples? They're still there, but they're more interwoven into the melodies -- you can hear some sirens somewhere in the mix, alongside Ninja's powerful raps, Solex's pop tune, Kaori Tsuchida's girlish chants ("DO it! DO it! ALL RIGHT!") and Chuck D in the penultimate track. Bless him, his raps blend seamlessly into the storm of crazy brass'n'riffs.
"Proof of Life" could have benefited by snipping a couple of songs, but the resulting sophomore album is still a gloriously energetic, joyous mishmash of styles and sounds. All right, do it all right!