Rooted in the world of '70s jazz, pop, dance, and funk, Swedish duo
Burnshee Thornside's latest Rock This Moon is an ironic,
funky feel good album. Influenced by such '70s luminaries as Steely
Dan, Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, Little
Feat, Blue Öyster Cult, and Earth, Wind and Fire,
Rock This Moon is full of heavy bass and wailing guitars, soaring
organ and rollicking brass - all anchored by K. Burnshee's
dry, Donald Fagan-inspired delivery and lyrics.
From the outset, Burnshee Thornside's funk and blues tendencies
come to the fore. The album's opener "Bad, Bad Luck" is
a tale of gambling losses in Vegas set to funky bass and organ swells,
while the album's title track is a mellow Steely Dan-esque intergalactic
party song with the catchy refrain "there's a party tonight
and we're gonna rock this moon." Steely Dan is undoubtedly
the predominant musical inspiration throughout. "Dear Error"
tells the story of a fallen movie star to a Steely Dan-esque jazz-pop
melody, and "Consuelo," the story of plastic surgery taken
to the extreme, features a Fagan-esque guitar riff.
The middle portion of the album finds Burnshee Thornside exploring
an Americana feel. The tongue-in-cheek folk-funk hybrid, "I Wish
I Could Write Lyrics Like Bob Dylan," finds Burnshee bemoaning
his lack of writing prowess, good looks, and countenance, while name-checking
everyone from Rimbaud to Martin Sheen. The witty Old
West revenge tale, "Bang I Shot Him," features both soaring
strings and a blues guitar riff, while "City Girls" is a
clever juke joint ditty about the heartbreak that befalls country
boys who fall in love with girls from the city.
The albums final three tracks - the electronic "Put Me In Your
Loop," the folk-pop "Time Flies Away," and the instrumental
"Where's The Beef" - harken back to Burnshee Thornside's
pop influences. "Put Me In Your Loop" tells the tale of
a club-goer who falls into unrequited love with a female DJ at Club
Karma, while "Time Flies Away" is a lilting pop ballad featuring
Katarina Seger on lead vocals. If taken too seriously, "Time
Flies Away" comes across as maudlin and trite, but here again
is an example of Burnshee Thornside's wit. "I know a man who
thought he had all the time in the world/so he went on doing nothing,"
Seger croons over tender piano accompaniment that is so sentimental
that it cannot be taken (or intended to be taken) seriously. "Where's
the Beef" perhaps best summarizes the musical confluences present
in Rock This Moon - at once, funky rock and jazz fusion with
its saxophone duels, BOC-infused guitar riffs, and Miles Davis-inspired
Rock This Moon is a fun album full of great hooks and danceable
songs, sublime pop and stellar musicianship. It is quite simply an
enjoyable listen by a band that does not take itself too seriously.
-Tracy M. Rogers
1. Bad Bad Luck
2. Rock This Moon
4. Dear Error
6. Wish I Could Write Lyrics Like Bob Dylan
7. Bang I Shot Him
8. Miss Your Love Forever
9. Tennis in Venice
10. I Know This Feeling
11. City Girls
12. Took Me By Surprise
13. Put Me In Your Loop
14. Time Flies Away
15. Where's the Beef
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