This is a majestic record. Make no bones about it. It's taken far too long for it to reach British shores since its release Stateside back in June (yes, June) of last year. It's also been a long time in the making, Hooray For Earth having been incepted in 2005, the brainchild of a Boston based Noel Heroux. Since then though, Hooray For Earth has expanded to a three-piece and made the move to the ever energetic creative hot bed that is New York. This album is the product of Noel's bedroom recordings and it's all the more amazing for it.
There's a clear line to be drawn straight back to the hey day of 80's synth pop so if you're of conflicted constitution about this sort of thing, look away now. If, on the other hand, there is the tiniest amount joy in that cold, hard soul of yours, let it free and live again. This is a record, as Huey Morgan put it quite aptly more or less, for those who can truly appreciate when Flashdance's credits roll. That's a little unfair given the love and care that has obviously gone into an album honed by a couple of decades of post-punk, post-rock electronic worship.
Since the title track came into radio rotation it's been hard to ignore this impending release. The album's opener; a choral, ever so slightly gonzo statement of intent gives way to the effervescent 'Last Minute'. Motown drum fills, punctuated by harpsichord, start to sound deceptively festive against a backdrop of bass heavy synth. A similar euphoria is achieved with 'Sails'. Sequencers play out to drum hits on the off-beat and once again another perilously addictive refrain washes over. And then that charmingly magical lead single (literally) chimes in to remind you you're onto a very good thing indeed with this record.
'Same' is more of well... the same. Uplifting with an underlying sadness, it lollops along, keeping up the pace at the halfway marker. It's here that it becomes apparent just how seriously as a synth group Hooray For Earth take their drums and percussion. Drummer Joseph Ciampini has quite the arsenal of the real and the digital and his intricate arrangements delight as much as all else on offer.
'Bring Us Closer Together' is the track that distills some of the best of this album. It's the title track from a classic 80's movie that never was. It's the one that might turn the cool kids off but turn the nostalgia right on in the revivalists. For the rest of us, it's the one that'll make you dance like you didn't have a care in the world.
So, Hooray For Earth indeed. Convinced yet?
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