I have to admit I was into Erik Delong the minute I saw the album cover for his recent release Songs for an Intimate Evening. It’s clearly supposed to make you smile and say “wtf” in your head and if that wasn’t his intention than Delong may clearly just be the coolest person born in the last thirty years. The combination of him wrapped up in an American flag looking up at the heavens while a wolf howls at the moon made my Tuesday.
Delong makes synth based, upbeat dance songs that are well produced and full of hooks. Basically Songs for an Intimate Evening is an appropriate title as long as you plan on taking a good amount of ecstasy and busting a groove for the full duration of the album. Truth be told Delong brings the goods time after time on this album. The songs are highly infectious in almost all areas.
Delong can sing and he has some serious skill when it comes to studio production. He has a keen ear for what elements work in a song and proves that time after time. On top of that he recorded and mixed the album and it doesn’t sound kind of professional it sounds professional. There weren't any duds on this album so let’s talk about the standouts. The second track “Stationery” is full of hooks, square synths and a 4/4 beat that will beat you over the head till you're on the dance floor. I’m saying that this should replace the alarm you currently have to wake up to in the morning.
“I Need You” starts off with ‘80s synth cheese and is some of the most unpretentious fun I have had since listening to Ariel Pink. As it progresses some of the elements can be traced to contemporary acts such as The Chromatics and College. What I wasn’t expecting was the African like chanting that for some reason completely worked. Great song.
“Saxy Time” is indeed “Saxy” as I felt a bit of boys band influence on this one. Hey, that’s nothing to be ashamed of when you have a ridiculously awesome sax solo. This is the way they used to play sax back in the ‘80s (think “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty). You can picture the dude’s cheeks puffed and his eyes about to pop out of their sockets.
Do yourself a favor and go to Delong’s website and read some of the other things people have said about him including a popular blogger who dabbles in music called J.S. Bach. He said, ““Genius! These two, three, and sometimes four chord songs literally melted my brain and forced me to retire from music.” Delong may already be America's favorite yacht captain but with this album has stated he has an “unyielding desire to create a sound and persona that was fun, funky, accessible and most of all, really, really sexy.” I’ll quote George W on this one and say “mission accomplished.”
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