Norway’s Datarock has returned, red tracksuits
and all, with their highly anticipated sophomore album Red. They continue with their penchant for producing charmingly
silly lyrics laced over stylized 80s dance rock. And though Red is indeed another fun album for
singer Fredrik Saroea and bandmate Ketil Mosnes there are only a few gems here.
The beginning of the album is the strongest point…once you get pass the first
track, “The Blog.” The perfect soundtrack for a corny 80s flick with robo
voices, electric drums, high pitched keyboards and fake audience cheers
throughout, “Blog” includes random voiceovers of gentleman discussing the
impact of the internet; it is a weak way to start off an album.
Luckily “Give It
Up” follows and this sends Red off in
the right direction. Then “True Stories” begins. Easily the best song on the
album, “Stories” pays homage to Talking Heads. Saroea sings titles to Talking
Heads songs and with lyrics like, “Psycho Killer, Radiohead, Television Man,
I’m Not in Love,” added to a laid back, bass driven beat equals perfection.
Yet, a Datarock album would not be complete without yet another 80s, pop
culture reference: enter Molly Ringwald. You’ve read right. Datarock sings to
good ol’ Ringwald in, “Molly” and vows to never forget her, “the girl of my
dreams.” Datarock again woos with their humor and catchy music but Red is not highly strong sonically…if
only there were more beats to carry the enjoyable lyrics.
Standout Tracks: “True Stories,” “Back in the Seventies” APRIL