“Hey, we’re the band Sleeper Agent and if you dig us now, you can tell everyone how you liked us before that one song was in that car commercial”
– Sleeper Agent
The struggling trend of dual male/female lead vocals for bands has taken its time to break out over the last few decades. It is a commonly attempted style that has a very large failure rate. Typically it will be a song “featuring: whoever.” Rarely is it a whole album or even the staple of a band. Attempting a full length album where every song is dually sung, is surely a ticket to the long list of one hit wonders. Right?
For Sleeper Agent. No
Packed full of more audible catchy hooks than Europe’s “Final Countdown,” Celebrasion is a determined statement filled with enough attitude to catch your attention and keep it.
Despite the first run feeling of another pop album, Celebrasion is full of the little things that will set it apart from the rest of the race. Utilizing the sassy vocals of front lady Alex Kandel and the non-generic vocals of Tony Smith Sleeper Agent finds a formula that works very well.
Drilling into your subconscious like a deep sea oil rig, you’re drawn into the head-rocking, body-moving, pop-punk-rock that is the foundation for this break out album. Sleeper Agent’s ability to embed itself in your mind is a talent most commonly exuded by seasoned, road tested artists. Skipping over a slightly muted guitar “Get it Daddy” marches forth into a snare induced anthem as infectious as any. You will wake up singing “I’m not a baby no more!” Traveling through the twelve tracks, there are a few forgettables; “Force a Smile” will leaving you wanting to just force the “skip track” button. Though not entirely terrible, the rest of the album just raises the bar over its head. To prove the level set by their abilities, I direct your attention to the third track: “Shuga Cane.” This song will surely make your neck hurt as you whip it around for a double take. Yes, the song is “Shuga Cane,” it seethes the ode to Sonic Youth, and I love it. It is not a remake; it is a beast that appears to be grown out of the original with slight emergence of the old licks and the distorted vocals. The seamless transition into “Love Blood,” an effect used throughout the album, drops you into the lap of a real, fun approach the unknown commonly referred to as commitment. Each track is a character that builds a greater story of life. Things in life you’ve most likely come across. However, this group of friends from Kentucky spins their fun-loving attitude into the mix and makes things seem less stressful.
This isn’t your average pop album. If you think it is, listen again.
In an industry flooded with the unique like everyone else vocal pairings, it isn’t often to a life boat comes along. Celebrasion is the salvation to “pop” we’ve been needing.
This album is easily on my list of must haves for 2011. Download a free copy of “Get it Daddy” at http://sleeperagentmusic.com/. Pick up the full album from the good folks Mom & Pop Records!