Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CD Review: Snow in Mexico "Juno Beach" (Saint Marie Records)

There are a lot going on within each of these songs and since there are only four songs I am going to tell you a little bit about each song in a good old fashioned song-by-song review.

<1> "The Call" -  This song begins with some ambient type of synth that also sounds like it could be in space.  It's coming through with electronics and just building into what I can only imagine will become loops.    There is a nice dance beat to it now and I can't help but think of Human League because on some level I am singing "Don't you want me baby" in the back of my mind.   Someone says "Hello" and I was confused when I first heard this CD because I wasn't sure whether this was an audio clip or not, but to me it sounded like someone doing spoken word and trying to pass it off as an audio clip.   However, based upon the title of the track I can now tell that it is a voice mail recording.  The woman on the message says she has to tell you that she met someone else and so apparently this is a song about a guy who got dumped via voice mail.   I really hope that this voice mail is real not because the guy got his heart broken (potentially anyway) but because it just shows that leaving that proof behind of breaking up with someone can come back to haunt you, as this person will now be forever immortalized by this song.  Hey, high-five to me though for getting married before getting broken up with via text message was humanly possible!

<2> "Juno Beach" - More dance beats and synth now.   Vocals are coming out as well.   It's somewhere between that Breakfast Club and New Order sound, which isn't too far apart from each other I know.   There is a nice beat and it also has some qualities of Observer Drift, Work Drugs and others along those lines-- you know, the college rock radio versions of those artists which I don't really listen to for various reasons.   While you could put this into genres ranging from synthpop and synthwave to some form of electronics I'm simply thinking of it as new wave ultimately.   Some blissful tones do come out in the song- like magic crystals- and I imagine myself on the dance floor of a club in the late 1980's or early 1990's only, you know, as a grown adult and not at the age which I was back then.     Being that this is the titular track I think it holds a certain amount of stature on the EP and rightfully so because this isn't slow and boring enough to make me fall asleep (or press stop on the CD- and, yes, that is a problem I encounter far too often) yet it's also not overly hyper to the point where I'm screaming for it to be shut off.   This truly is the perfect balance in this song.

<3> "Sunshine" - Another drum machine based dance number and I want to see everyone out on that floor right now!   This has that "Pretty in Pink" feel to it and for some reason it really makes me miss John Hughes movies.   I don't want anyone to remake them so much as I want to find a director who has a similar style for comedy and teenage angst and can put it with this style of music which feels like it's from the time when I was growing up but is actually recorded and created in the now.   Could we do some kind of mock John Hughes film soundtrack?  Either way, this is just a stellar song along the same lines as the one before it only, you know, not the same because it's a different song.

<4> "Gentle rain" - This is the slower drum machine jam.   It's like every movie I've ever seen that pays tribute to John Cusack holding a boombox above his head only without sounding exactly like *that* Peter Gabriel song.     This is certainly dreamy as well.   It's those slower rhythms like Bruce Springsteen might use and just about anything you want to put over these type of drum beats will be cool with me because I just like them so much as an important piece of my childhood.   This is the slowest of the songs though, so perhaps the ballad if you will, though it does seem to imply that based upon its name as well.

As a fan of cassettes this is obviously something that I'd be interested in hearing a lot more of because it has that same general time frame as to when I was growing up but just happens to be set in a time when my son is now growing up.  Even if you don't have any growing up to do though- for yourself or children- you can still put this one on and have a dance party even if it means dancing with yourself like Billy Idol sang about.

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