Friday, June 17, 2011

"It's A Corporate World" by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

It's A Corporate World by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was
released on Quite Scientific Records on June 7, 2011
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are much more than just a band with a quirky, attention-grabbing name.  Dale Jr. Jr. may have initially caught the attention of the masses through their namesake, but they've kept their fans through their inventive and invigorating sound.  The band picked up a bit of steam from their EP last year Horse Power (which featured an awesome cover of The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows") and this album expands upon that sound that they built for themselves.  It's hard to lump Dale Jr. Jr. into a category because the stereotypical "indie pop" title just simply doesn't fit, there's too much going on to pigeonhole them into one category.  It's A Corporate World is full of captivating lyrics, polyrhythms, and instrumentation.  Each track is capable of being a summer anthem with it's infectious choruses and captivating rhythms, It's A Corporate World is certainly one of this year's standout albums from top to bottom.

Filled with bass-bumps, drum machines, and thrilling melodies, this album jumps right into the swing of things with it's opener "Morning Thought".  There's a lot going on in "Morning Thought" and at times it can be a bit daunting, if there were one problem with this album that would certainly be it.  Occasionally it's hard to catch up with everything going on musically in the song and sit back and focus on the great vocal lines and lyrics, but this lush orchestration also allows for multiple parts of each song to shine through.  Tracks like "Nothing But Our Love" display the band at their finest, allowing the instrumentation and vocals to mesh together and provide for an incredible sonic landscape that's full of space-y synth lines, drum beats, and a slow-moving but still catchy melody.

One of the best parts of the album though is that while tracks like "Nothing But Our Love" can display their slower side, allowing you to completely absolve yourself in the music, they oftentimes can get you just as intently focused on their quicker and catchier tracks.  "Skeletons" is a track that practically screams out "single", it's got interesting poly-rhythms that are changed throughout the songs and a reprise of "buried skeletons in the back yard".  The band can take simple refrains and make them feel elegant and elaborate, that's why their poppier tracks can continue to grasp the listeners attention even if they're not big on simplicity.  Take "An Ugly Person On A Movie Screen" for example, it's littered with "na-na's" but the build up to these parts are enough to keep the fans that stray away from poppy bands intrigued.

This album is one that keeps the listener's attention from beginning to end, each track leaves a little bit of something imprinted in your mind that you keep wanting to go back to for another listen.  Not to mention they do an incredible take on Gill-Scott Heron's "We Almost Lost Detroit".  As previously stated though sometimes it's a bit hard to focus on a specific part of a song because of how much is going on, a bit more focus would do wonders for the Michigan duo.  However, this band clearly knows the sound that they're going for and they've nailed it.  It's A Corporate World is an album filled with tracks to blast in your car with the windows down, it's a summer banger in every sense.  Do yourself a favor and pick this one up, it's well worth it.

Rating: 8.9/10
Standout Tracks: "Skeletons", "It's A Corporate World", "Morning Thought", "Nothing But Our Love"

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