BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Although their recording career is just barely two years old, boasting only one previous album and an EP so far, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. has generated such a mighty buzz, it wholly belies their newcomer status. Then again, they’re not your ordinary band to begin with. Aside from their inexplicable handle – are they really offering reverence to the race car driver of the same name? – they come at their sound with contradictory and somewhat confusing intents. Their harmonies give an enthusiastic nod to the effusive spirit of the Beach Boys, while their propulsive electro beat rhythms seem tailor-made for luring dance devotees. Is this a form of populist progressive pop? Very possibly so.
Fortunately, the duo — pals and collaborators Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott – don’t let their giddier intents get in the way of their radiant ambitions. The oversized arrangements provide all the swirling and sundry sounds needed to garner greater interest. So while songs such as “Beautiful Dream,” “Run” and “Gloria” may be anchored with a touch of techno, there’s also plenty of sparkle and substance to keep most folks satisfied. Happily, those wary of the dance floor needn’t feel excluded.
DOWNLOAD: “Beautiful Dream,” “Run,” “Gloria”