At the helm of a speed boat skipping over the waves, Don Johnson maintains a stoic look as the mist from the water sprays over his well kept hair. In the distance the lights of the city blur against his white suit which maintains its immaculate cleanliness. Accompanying this display of manliness, no, era is a type of music that embeds itself in your memory forever.
For fans (such as myself) of the Miami Vice times, we’ve long neglected the 80s child from within.
On June 13th, I found my fix.
Displaying their ability to infuse melodies that invoke a nostalgic feel with a modern electronic vibe, the Canadian duo Junior Boys continues with their fourth studio album It’s All True. The retro-indie-tronic nine tracks quickly unearth feelings of almost three decades ago. All while keeping you in the present by the cunning use of synthesizers laid over sporadic beats. Mix in the accompaniment of soft self restricting Hall & Oates inspired vocals and you’ve found the perfect equation.
Controlling the pace of the album meticulously from front to end allows you to get lost in the music and often times miss the lyrics all together. Each song creates a feeling that they should be accompanied by a 16 bit graphic music video. The down-tempo “Playtime” creates perfect imagery of a room being lit by blue light coming through a window while the lead singer lays on the bed singing helplessly into the camera. It’s very obvious there is an underlying love story vibe meant to emerge from this as seen in “You’ll Improve Me” singing to “Should have known I was angry, All the little ways that its shows, Cause you think I can’t please you,” yet, I’m too distracted by the instrumentals to focus on the meanings. Their single “Banana Ripple” carries strong bass beats with Atari-like rolling waves. The airy alto-treble choruses stay consistent throughout the album and taking dominance over any other attempts at vocal range. With reliance on the digital ambient noise and synthesizers, it’s too easy to move your hips and tap your foot while missing the meaning all together. I don’t feel this takes away from the album; instead it makes for a refreshing journey into a sound that is hard to come by.
If you’re looking to recreate a scene from the 80’s or simply looking for an album which steps out of the ordinary of today’s music scene, I strongly recommend It’s All True.