I will freely admit that few things in life make me as giddy
as 80's synth-pop. Even more so when it is done extremely well
and filled with the enjoyable spirit of the genre. Freezepop
does just that. The band takes a bouncy, fun, and traditional
approach on their second full-length release, Fancy Ultra-Fresh.
Taking not only the great sounds of early 80's new wave in their
music, but also borrowing from the genre-makers in taking clever
and fun names for themselves; Liz Enthusiasm, The Duke
of Pannekoeken, and the Other Sean T. Drinkwater. Oh
yeah, and the haircuts and clothes
they are also very retro.
I used to lay awake at night ingesting the computer sounds of
Kraftwerk, and it is rather obvious that these folks did
as well. The music is laced with FM synthesis, catchy melody lines,
and heavy vocoder use. "Stakeout" gets the record kicking
with infectious 909 beats and highly echoing synth lines that
you can link right back to early Vince Clark-era Depeche
Mode. The Speak and Spell comes out of hibernation for
"I Am Not Your Gameboy", a jumpy rhythmic song with
hints of The Human League, both in sound and in lyric content.
" Don't play with me/ I'm not your toy/ Oh can't you see/
I'm not your gameboy." Men Without Hats would have
been proud to call "Parlez-vous Freezepop" their own
of course, that is if Ivan hadn't lost his mind and disavowed
all ties to early works of the band. "Chess King" will
remind you of all those things you thought were cool back when
a young teenager of the 80's, from hanging at the mall, to Spencer's
Gifts, to Benitton and Drakar. "Duct Tape My Heart"
stands up to any song that I've heard recently; it is filled with
clever lyrics that tell a great little story, and some very cool
music which has layers upon layers of depth. "Tonight"
is a track reminiscent of Freur's finest musical moments.
At a time when it seems the 1980's are finally getting their
comeback, with clothes emulating the early to mid years of the
decade, so it seems modern music is making nods to the era, as
well. So if, like me, you grew up in those kooky 80's and remember
the bands I've talked about here (and a few more), and truly enjoyed
the music they made, then my suggestion to you is to check out
Fancy Ultra-Fresh. Freezepop make pop music an enjoyable
listen, while also taking the listener down a little memory lane
roadtrip. The disc also includes the "Stakeout" Video,
live footage of the band, and some other cool bonus features.
2. Bike Thief
3. I Am Not Your Gameboy
4. Parlez-vous Freezepop?
5. Chess King
6. Outer Space
7. That Boy Is All About Fun!
8. Duct Tape My Heart
9. Manipulate (mastermind mix)
10. Emotions & Photons
12. Boys On Film
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