Says something for an Album of this calibre when no matter what you read or who you chat to they all have a different take as to what their stand out track is. Make no mistake about it this album feels all grown up with its bold impactful melodies and confident arrangements. It’s unquestionably Droid Bishop and a new dawn for our synth age.
This hotly anticipated album is crammed with retro back-lines and classically dreamy Synths fused together to create what in my opinion is Droids seminal work. He waltzes you round the soundscapes and demonstrates such finesse that you’re left in no doubt as to why he stands shoulder to shoulder with some of the best Synth Artists we have the pleasure of being introduced to up to now.
The album opens with ‘Music ’, the title track. It’s a punchy instrumental number which lets the sunshine in. It kicks off the album beautifully and sets the stage. It unfolds in your senses and you feel like you have softly opened the door to a beautiful Neon universe. It’s well crafted and cinematic in its delivery and bathes you in melody. At only 44 seconds long it’s a veritable neon antipasto to the main meal yet to come.
As I open that door a little more, I let ‘The Light ’ in. Track No. 2 is a real surprise. It’s got those Easy Lover vibes with a touch of those Brian Mayesque guitar licks until you round the corner and walk straight into a wall of funk. If you don’t move to this I’d check your pulse and go see the doctor STAT! It bobs and weaves its way around your eardrums and leaves you groovin’ on the dance floors of your mind. I love the feeling the track gives me after listening to it. Chromeo who?
Track 3 is ‘Future Noir ’ and sucks you into an 80's maelstrom of synths and I’m here for it. Punctuated throughout by some well-timed bass guitar its got a vibe stronger than Schwarzenegger and a worthy entry on many a curated Synthwave/Retro playlist I feel.
Up next we have ‘Through the Fire ’ it’s a dreamy, slow, sensual number. It certainly takes it’s time to seduce you but only after it buys you Dinner, its respectful! I’m unsure as to how this would go down in a live setting to be fair but its hugely listenable and a track I’ll re-visit many times over no doubt! Job done.
‘After Sunfall ’ is track 5 and comes dropping slowly into your consciousness. It’s another cinematic interlude which gives you time to breathe and reflect. It’s beautifully produced if a little short but it exercises power in restraint: Always leave them wanting more!
‘The Outliers ’ skips into view next at track no. 6 and grabbed me from the very first few bars. The vocal is sublime and marries with the production of the track beautifully. The DNA of this song sounds not unlike something you would have heard on your car stereo back in the 80’s or as a soundtrack to a scene montage embedded in a favourite 80’s movie that never was! I flirted with the idea of making one of the previous tracks a favourite but this effort blows them out of the water. A wonderful conflict for a reviewer!
Track 7 is ‘Only a Memory’ and for all intents and purposes comes across as a lament. It visits you like a cool breeze on a warm sunny day & is a lovely instrumental effort.
‘Doin’ It Right’ was the veritable musical smelling salts that jolted me out of the dreamlike state I was left in having listened to the previous track. Number 8 is your Studio 54 in the late 1970’s, dancing and spinning within the sunshine of your mind as the champagne kicks in and the spotlights and sequins hit every mark and shape you make as you spin and spin in a haze of lip gloss and hair spray to the disapproving looks of Andy Warhol and his flunkies. It’s a winner!
Next we take a taxi to ‘Electric City ’ and track no. 9. As I step out and slam the door behind me I look up and turn around. Neon EVERYWHERE. This track skips along gainfully. The Synths are extraordinarily catchy and unmistakably 80's. The track itself will no doubt be a fan favourite or I'll eat my raseberry beret!
‘Dreamlander ’ slides into view next at track 10 and I’m altogether unsure as to whether I like this track or not. It’s not disappointing to listen to at all but there’s something missing for me. Doesn’t grab me like the rest of the album has up till now but nothing is perfect I guess.
The final tracks on this album play out with the greatest intentions and hit the veritable mark. ‘End Game’ is a rush, another one to increase the cool factor on your Synth playlists and with ‘The Cosmic Infinite’ playing us out as the house lights go on, you are left in no doubt that you have listened to something impossibly cool and worthy of being one of the best Synth Albums of 2020 no doubt.
THIS IS THE DROID YOU’RE LOOKING FOR!
Favourite Track(s): The Light, The Outliers, Doin’ It Right & End Game
Least Favourite: Dreamlander