Thomas Dolby – A Map of the Floating City

January 01, 1970

(self-released)

 

www.thomasdolby.com

 

When last observed, Thomas Dolby was posing as a mad
scientist, blinding fans with science and well positioned as a darling of the
then-budding MTV set. Nowadays, Dolby’s less the obsessive eccentric, having
moved into production and the software side of things. After only infrequent
releases lately, A Map of the Floating
City
provides a belated comeback that finds him still inspired by
ingenuity.

 

Bristling with synth pop enthusiasm, the busy arrangements
and instrumental additives subvert eccentricity in favor of a cool cosmopolitan
sheen. “Evil Twin Brother,” “Jealous Thing Called Love” and sinewy cocktail
ballads “Love Is a Loaded Pistol” and “Oceana” navigate urban environs, with
Latin grooves, brass and strings bolstering the tempos. Fortunately, Dolby
hasn’t wholly abandoned his weirder ways; “Spice Train,” for example, is buoyed
by what sounds like a whoopee cushion, and rhyming “Macaroni and cheese” with
“deep freeze” on opener “Nothing New Under the Sun” certainly seems silly. Nevertheless,
Dolby’s melodies are as agile and accessible as ever.

 

DOWNLOAD: “17 Hills,” “Road to Reno” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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