While he may have gotten on the radar thanks to YouTube covers of the likes of Deerhunter and Beach House, Young Man’s Colin Caulfield has steadily grown into his own identity as an artist. That’s something that stands out on Young Man’s recently released third album, Beyond Was All Around Me, a confident, fleshed-out effort that showcases plenty of classic art-pop chops, while also revealing some inventive touches all Caulfield’s own. Indeed, the distinct qualities of Caulfield’s songwriting voice can’t help but come through even in this remix of the single “In a Sense” by London producer Maths Time Joy. More focused on rhythmic elements than the melodic synth-pop of the original version, the remixed “In a Sense”, premiering on PopMatters, still manages to bring out the essence of Young Man’s yearning sound, drawing out its tender grace in a distilled state.
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I went on record saying that Torche’s Harmonicraft is my favourite metal album since Tool’s Ænima. Though the IT department has since had to replace the ruined keyboards of my co-workers who spat out their coffee at such a bold assertion, I maintain that position. But let me explain.
They’re not musically similar in any way. I’m not comparing the two as much as I am merely observing that they’ve both lingered on my personal short list since their release more than any other records.
Restorations manage to emulate that feeling quite regularly at their invigorating live shows, but on the second track from their sensational sophomore full-length LP2 they stretch their esteemed vision further than ever. A jangly intro leads into a wall of multiple guitars and a palpable rhythm section, but what sticks on “Let’s Blow Up the Sun” is the never-ending sense of promise. When the jangly guitars return, they’re constantly swallowed by the wall of rhythm. Restorations manage to get their listeners feet moving quickly, before truly opening up the map and showing them everywhere they can go.
While the one-and-only Nile Rodgers holds up his end of the bargain, powering the groove with a smooth, tasty, and perfectly chilled throwback riff that’s love at first listen, super-producer Pharrell can’t put together a full performance on vox. He shines on both the pre-chorus and chorus, evoking Off the Wall-era MJ, but man are the verses dull and clunky. There, Pharrell’s wobbly, unfocused vocals clash with their crisp environs (which also makes you less forgiving of the vapid lyric; opening line: “Like the legend of the phoenix”). I really don’t know how certain parts passed muster. Luckily, the Robots swoop in afterward with a bracing vocoder hook that reminds everyone who’s running the show. All told, “Get Lucky” is a killer track that should’ve been a classic. I eagerly await the full album version and the copious remixes that I’m sure are being crafted as we speak.
On this lead-off track from TOTP2, “Morrissey Will Never Forgive Me”, Keith Top of the Pops takes the piss a bit, using snippets from Morrissey lyrics and then saying how the former Smith would never forgive him. The song was recorded live with full band in one take to preserve the sense of urgency in the tune. TOTP2 will be released May 17th via Corporate Records.