Some great re­ward

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MUSIC -

happy to guide this hazy ship to shore, and thank­fully he finds a mag­i­cal method to harness this melodic mad­ness. This al­bum, we have to say, is def­i­nitely a grower if you can last the dis­tance.

Cap­i­tal Cities

(Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic) LOS AN­GE­LES indie pop duo Cap­i­tal Cities, fea­tur­ing Ryan Mer­chant and Sebu Si­mo­nian, spares no cost in its pur­suit of mid1980s pop thrills on its main­stream de­but al­bum. The duo even pull out cheesy synth trum­pets, nor­mally a mu­si­cal death trap, on the for­mat ra­dio sin­gle Safe And Sound.

In­ter­est­ingly, they achieve the de­sired ef­fects. The masses had time for that tune. But is the rest of Cap­i­tal Cities’ de­but any good? Well, only in spurts.

The afore­men­tioned sin­gle is a tight and catchy elec­tro-pop mo­ment that works on a party level.

But sadly, Kan­ga­roo Court, comes across as throw­away indie, and of­fers lit­tle by way of song­writ­ing value to leave a last­ing im­pres­sion.

Luck­ily enough, the duo take on a dif­fer­ent route from the flam­boy­ant Aussie act Em­pire of the Sun, choos­ing in­stead to fo­cus on easy-lis­ten­ing soul pop.

Of course, a track like Char­treuse could eas­ily have been cut in the late 1970s and that says a lot about Cap­i­tal Cities’ po­ten­tial in craft­ing mem­o­rable pop.

Some­where in the duo’s record col­lec­tion, you’re bound to find some Hall & Oates, Boz Scaggs and 10CC – text­book white soul mu­sic that seems to be the rage now.

How­ever, there’s still a gim­micky el­e­ment to Cap­i­tal Cities’ mu­sic that’s hard to shake off.

A lit­tle more fo­cus (on the song­writ­ing) the next time and Cap­i­tal Cities could well be a new force in this elec­tro-cen­tric indie land­scape.

Var­i­ous Artistes

(Warner Mu­sic) THIS com­pi­la­tion ar­rives just in time for su­per pro­ducer/hit­maker/ gui­tarist Nile Rodgers’ tour in this re­gion, which in­cludes a Kuala Lumpur show on Dec 4.

Fea­tur­ing 25 tracks across 2CDs, Nile Rodgers Presents The Chic Or­gan­i­sa­tion prac­ti­cally tells the back­story of the 61-year-old New Yorker’s glo­ri­ous trail of plat­inum sin­gles and pro­duc­tions from the mid 1970s and early 1980s.

Rodgers’ un­for­get­table hits with Chic, the band he led with the Bernard Ed­wards and Tony Thomp­son (both de­ceased), are well rep­re­sented on this al­bum, and you can’t go wrong with Le Freak, Every­body Dance, Good Times, and I Want Your Love.

The funky 12” ver­sion of Soup For One is worth the price of ad­mis­sion on its own. But Rodgers has more than Chic hits here. His pro­duc­tion work – as part of The Chic Or­gan­i­sa­tion – is an added high­light with clas­sics from Sis­ter Sledge, Diana Ross, Norma Jean Wright, Carly Si­mon and Deb­bie Harry mak­ing this com­pi­la­tion.

On stage, Rodger’s ver­sion of Chic also cranks up a med­ley from Sis­ter Sledge and Diana Ross. So it’s good to have a feel of He’s The Great­est Dancer right to Up­side Down!

Over the years, there has ob­vi­ously been no short­age of Chic com­pi­la­tions, but this one should do nicely if you are new to Rodger’s early mu­sic.

No point in just own­ing Daft Punk’s Ran­dom Ac­cess Mem­o­ries and go­ing on about how cool Get Lucky sounds if you don’t know any­thing about the yowsah, yowsah, yowsah.

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