Category Archives: Datarock

Datarock – Red

Datarock
Red
2009
Young Aspiring Professionals/ Nettwerk Music Group/ EMI
070/100

Datarock - Red

1.The Blog // 2.Give It Up // 3.True Stories // 4.Dance! // 5.Molly // 6.Do It Your Way // 7.In The Red // 8.Fear Of Death // 9.Amarillion // 10.The Pretender // 11.Back In The Seventies // 12.Not Me // 13.New Days Dawn

Fast forward to 2009. The second album by the Norwegian band Datarock is released. Is there a difference compared to the first album? Yes and no and yes my opinion will include comments about music.

The Blog grabs you by the technological throat by treating the evolution and the importance of the internet and world wide web in a fuzzy almost industrial approach to the music combined with samples and distortion. Either way the opener sucks you into the album right away. Give It Up continues the fast pace yet is lighter on lyrical content with its Romeo & Juliet plot on a typical eighties Pop track à la Michael Jackson/Quincy Jones. True Stories slows down the pace with a modest bass groove and playful percussion while referring to the many eighties influences of Datarock (Talking Heads among others). After which Dance! picks up the pace again with a disco groove that forces you to move while the vocalist keeps planting the word “Dance” in your head. I guess you understand by now.

Molly is a more moody song about childhood love with a typical eighties sound combining synthesizers and guitar with screeching vocals for. I quite like the song actually. Do It Your Way and In The Red follow and I would categorize both tracks almost as filler. Thing is the rushed and distorted Do It Your Way combined with the relaxing “In The Red” which simply sounds clean and gives away the Doors left their mark on this band and I like hearing that. In The Red is completely instrumental and therefore very welcome for varieties sake at least. The synthesizer sounds take me back to the early eighties.

Fear Of Death is lovely song about death and love with a bit of fuzzy guitar and synthesizer melodies. The understated drumming keeps impressing me. The gem of the album, the ultimate ode to the eighties called “Amarillion” follows. What can I add, this song makes me smile and yes it is one big wink to the seventies and eighties with unexpected references over a very smooth and groovy instrumental, nothing sounds overdone. Allow me to wallow in the pleasure, this song brings me back and words are severely insufficient. The Pretender increases the pace again over a catchy disco groove with hilarious lyrics about all of us with a repetitious yet catchy lyrics. Back In The Seventies says it all with a turn to a Ska groove turning into an organ driven Disco track. The harp sample alone. Right after 2.20 the synthesizer solo takes this song to unprecedented highs. Not Me follows with a heavy synthesizer groove and jumpy beats with a shouty refrain accompanied by a jarring guitar unlike anywhere else on this album. The ‘fuzz’ is back while the guitar gets the lead role. From fuzz to tranquil grooving the last song gives you something to slowly ponder about while you chill out over a more soulful track about endings and new beginnings. New Days Dawn is the stand-out closer.

I guess it is clear I like this album. In some ways it resembles their first effort. The opening and closing tracks share typical similarities while the eclectic influences keep the variation in the listening experience. “Red” is more driven by danceable rhythms though.

Best Tracks
True Stories, Dance, Amarillion, Back In The Seventies

Recommendations
My recommendation stays the same. If you don’t have that weak spot for the seventies and eighties this album might not be your cup of tea, sorry. For now “Amarillion” is on repeat.

My regards,

Rura88

P.S. Bonkers, sorry for the delay.

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Datarock – Datarock

Datarock
Datarock
July 25, 2005
Young Aspiring Professionals
080/100
Datarock - Datarock

1.Bulldozer // 2. I Used To Dance With My Daddy // 3.Computer Camp Love // 4.Fa-Fa-Fa // 5. Princess //  6. Sex Me Up // 7.Night Flight To Uranus // 8.Ugly Primadonna // 9.Maybelline // 10. Laurie // 11.The Most Beautiful Girl

Given I don’t watch television anymore I sometimes randomly explore the once total random Youtube. Every now and then Datarock would show up in the list of suggested videos and after a while I just had to know if any album had been released. Some months later their albums arrived and since then their two albums have been added to my MP3-player and stayed on it. Only albums I really like stay on the device.

Travel back in time to 2005. A band from Norway releases its first album. Their quirky approach to music inspired by the Talking Heads, David Bowie and other seventies and eighties influences is unmistakable. Datarock is from Bergen where Royksopp  also comes from. The moment  their Indie sound started to sell the label Nettwerk took over and the band went on tour.

Bulldozer  rages through like the ‘best’ BMX-anthem ever. The following track introduces typical Datarock disco with a slow groove and gibberish. Computer Camp Love serves as a groovy ode to old school computer nerds with humorous romance with Judy. Fa-Fa-Fa is nothing more than Disco intertwined with an meandering bass groove and a cheesy nod to the Talking Heads while inducing you to swing those hips while the superficially soulful lyrics complement the instrumental part. Princess start jumpy and results in an ode to Ramones-like Pop with even more shallow lyrics. The intro of  Sex Me Up  sounds like an electric bagpipe melody leading to serious Disco. The title speaks for its self.

Night Flight To Uranus is an instrumental gem given its lyrics don’t distract from the genius construction of the song. The transitions are exemplary smooth yet go from moody eighties Pop to Disco to Michael Schenker like guitar solos. In short the ambiguity of the lyrics adds a silly note to an exquisitely composed song with an intro that takes you back to science fiction space age electro. Ugly Primadonna continues the more synthesizer driven instrumentals up to the point that you hear electronic farts. Oh dear did I mention farts? So what, more Disco grooving on a thick bass line and beats.

Maybelline is not a Chuck Berry cover. It’s parody on the famous slogan “Maybe she’s born with it maybe it’s Maybelline” over slow beats and a dark groove. Oh yes the lingering guitar make me want to listen to Blackmore, Hendrix and Prince. Did I just write that? Yes I did. Laurie sounds like an exemplary Pop song driven by that typical seventies sound of a four man band with a bit of distortion. Surely the lyrics are shallow but I don’t care one bit. A subtle drum pattern and synthesizer melody seduce me to listen to The Most Beautiful Girl. It’s a nerdy song both in composition and lyrics with. More melody driven it soothes the listening experience with relaxing keyboard arrangements. Quite the pleasure in my opinion.

Now, do I like this album? Yes I adore it for a very simple reason. This band has a sense of humor, appreciates its heritage in both a cheesy and a serious way and the album is very eclectic without sounding disjointed. “

Best tracks
Dance With My Daddy, Computer Camp Love, Fa-Fa-Fa, Night Flight To Uranus

Recommendations
As much as I enjoyed Datarock, I can’t recommend this album to everyone. If like me you have a weak spot for the fun side of the seventies and eighties try this album. I still like it after numerous listens. Red suit on the short list…

My regards,

Rura88