Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
This is flipping wonderful!
on 22 August 2008
In a time when a lot of new music seems to be completely devoid of soul, melodies or meaning this album comes along, kicks you in the head and makes you remember just how beautiful and life-affirming music can be.
It's a concept album about the life of the carmaker John DeLorean (he of the famous Back to the Future car), but quite frankly the subject doesn't matter at all when the music is this good, and I triple-guarantee this album will put a smile on your face and add an extra step to your walk.
The opening track reminds me of early 80s bombast so much and if I could fill my living room with dry ice and lasers to accompany it I would at the drop of a hat. There's also a slight Deus Ex theme feel to it too which appeals greatly. Boxers should enter their chosen arena to this song! Extreme coolness awaits, surely.
And then you get slapped around the head with the staccato rhythm and a melody surely penned by angels: Dream Cars. You wouldn't think this next song was about a mere hunk of metal and plastic but something more elevated and important. I can't help but smile like a loon and dance in my chair upon hearing this song and for God's sake, it's only track two! This makes you realise that a lot of songs coming out now forget the essentials such as pacing and melody. This has it in spades and is such an uplifting song which leads me on to track three...
Oh God I want to leap out of my chair now and punch the sky, never mind kiss it! Such a simple beat, a nice guitar sound and subtle keyboards backtracking Gruff's singing and then we get the chorus and you can't help but be moved. It's a classic pop song in every regard and beautifully constructed. I almost expected it to finish with an explosion instead of fading out, but maybe that's just me.
Raquel starts with a crazy Vince-Clarke-esque 80s beat and builds just as you'd expect a song before 1985 to build before Gruff's super melodic vocals kick in. Such a great mix here and I can't imagine a better ode to Raquel Welch.
Trick For Treat, track 5 has the capacity to knock you off your feet. It starts with a plaintive lyric and then after the pause, whoa, what the heck is this? Falsetto rapping? Sounds odd but intriguing, then a more traditional sound. This is one of the most progressive and impressive tracks on the album with an infectious chorus that you can't help but join in with. It's channelling a bit of Missy Elliott in its mix but you have to love that line - 'She got me dreaming like a Michigan boy, in Hollywood'.
OK, five tracks in, this is pretty good. What next? Oh dear God, Steel Your Girl? This is a cross between The Smiths (that guitar is so Johnny Marr, surely and Gruff could be Morrissey here) and an explosion in a pop factory. There's such a feeling of loss and hope, helped along with soaring keyboards and backing vocals that you can't help but be moved by. This is a wonderful song that I could play every day until I die without becoming bored of it.
Next up is Cate le Bon's singing of I Lust U and it's such a tight, wonderful pop song. Boom Bip's, er, bipping (how else do you describe that noise?) through this song is so standout and works as a wonderful counterpoint to the main lyrics that this is quite possibly the best track on the album for me. It's short, to the point, superb.
Track 8, Sweat Shop is such an interesting song and a change in style from what you've heard previously, yet it fits in quite well with the theme of the album. I don't even know how to begin to describe this song. It's sexy, lively and all about the rhythm with a consistent, heavy bass to boot.
Belfast is track 9 and is such a powerful statement of a song. After the slow end of the previous song this comes out and kicks you square in the jaw with its wonderful synth lead and reminds you what wonderful sounds the 80s could produce. Soaring keyboards accompany Gruff's lament to the failed factory, comparing DeLorean's reign there to the USA's in Vietnam. Slightly OTT, but the singing is slightly subdued compared to the synth and works so well and leads brilliantly in to the next one...
... which is all about the excess of the 80s. I doubt I'll ever get tired of track 10, Michael Douglas. It's such a brilliant, dynamic, superbly-crafted track that has it all with an insanely catchy chorus that you can't help singing along to.
Track 11, Luxury Pool is a rap track which is quite possibly the best thing I've heard this year. The backing track to the vocal is so unique and fits incredibly well with it - maybe it will get you famous. There's a bit of a traditional Egyptian synth sound until the break and then it reminds me so much of 8-bit computer sounds before refreshing to the main theme for the last 50 seconds or so. Truly wonderful and really very unique. I mean, come on, who else is doing anything at all like this nowadays?
And then the final track, an inspiring sing-along that closes out the album on an uplifting, though sad, sparkly note.
The thing is, though, that I'm left wanting so much more. 43 minutes is all well and good but this is without doubt the best album I've heard all year and now I want more! I hope I can see them live in a couple of months time but this album will live with me for a long, long time. If you're prevaricating, don't. Buy this today, it's wonderful, upliftingly wonderful!