Saturday, 20 September 2014

Album Review - "Strangers" by RAC

Producer André Allen Anjos aka RAC is mainly known for his remixes but after over three years work comes Strangers, an album of electronic pop and experimental creations. RAC has gone back to its roots as Remix Artists Collective and Anjos has recruited an impressive collection of collaborators, which gives the album disparate sounds, almost like a mixtape. Fans of Hot Chip, Last Dinosaurs or even the Raveonettes will appreciate the high-energy music, combination of electronic and instrumental production and sing-a-long pop choruses – but Strangers isn’t limited in its sound.

It kicks off with cheerful single Let It Go, a joint creation with Bloc Party’s Kele which sets up the cheeky, youthful mood of the album.  Other big names include Tegan & Sara, Tokyo Police Club and Yacht. Alex Elbert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros even lends his unique vocals to Tear You Down, an 80sish anthem with plenty of synth and Springsteen-style lyrics of reckless youth on the run. It’s not quite a universal listen but rather a string of tracks that stand on their own.

But it’s not all popping bubblegum – Strangers expresses its namesake and also delves into darker themes and lonelier tunes. A standout is We Belong with Kate Herzig – her fragile voice lends to looped vocals and echoes, and emotional strings. Tourist is all about isolation and Repeating Motion explores growing pains.  Anjos also shows off his production skills in Cells, a purely instrumental track with experimental spacey sounds and a breathing space in the album.

It is dance-friendly and calm, cheerful and pensive, and all at once memorable.

 Published on AdamNOTEve.

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