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. “
Dance With My Daddy, Computer Camp Love, Fa-Fa-Fa, Night Flight To Uranus
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…