The Blondies is a young group of five California natives who infuse classic rock & roll with their own personalities and modern techniques in Beautiful Life, the band’s third full length album. This overtly catchy record is The Blondies’ most ambitious effort yet, and possesses a charm that is hard to find in much of today’s music.
The album’s title track begins with an energy-packed choir of bouncing bass riffs, retro rock organ and electric guitars, and steady percussion, all with Simon Lunche’s velvety voice floating above the instrumentation. Occasional vocal harmonies add more layers to the tune’s very full sound, accentuating the brightness and optimism in the song’s spirit.
“Rusty Sunshine” is loosely based around classic blues form, and its relaxed pace alternates with sections of intense strumming and pounding of the drums. A swing rhythm takes hold in “Green Light”, a smooth ballad in which Simon’s vocals take center stage. Orchestral strings expand the song’s soundscape, making for a unique combination of instruments. This is highly contrasted by the simplistic “Bitter”, an acoustically-driven song that develops and builds its aura until the end.
The retro rock & roll vibe of the album is strong in “The Alps”, with elements taken from many of the greats in music history. Following, “When I’m Alone” and “Where You’re Going” once again demonstrate Simon’s ability to carry songs’ energies with only his voice and a guitar, without being taken over when additional instruments enter.
The album nears its end with “Daydreams”, the shortest and perhaps the most intrinsically lyrical piece on the record. The final anthem, “Our Love”, is a collectively triumphant song that includes a harmonious flute and reflects over the successes on the rest of the album. Beautiful Life is genuinely exceptional, and great music will surely continue to come from these talented band members.
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