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.
True Stories, Dance, Amarillion, Back In The Seventies
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.
P.S. Bonkers, sorry for the delay.