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Jack Beauregard

Irrational

(Tapete; US: 11 Jun 2013; UK: 10 Jun 2013; Online Release Date: 7 Jun 2013)

Mr. Mister Meets M83

First thing’s first: Jack Beauregard is a band, a duo to be precise, and not a solo artist. Taking their name from a character in a 1973 Spaghetti Western comedy called My Name Is Nobody, partially directed by the famed Sergio Leone, Jack Beauregard is Daniel Schaub and Pär Lammers. The group initially formed in Amsterdam, but now call Berlin their home. And you know what else they call home? The 1980s. The group’s third album, Irrational, will have you reaching for the Nik Kershaw and Mr. Mister references, but there’s a rub: the sound is clearly updated and transplanted into the present day, and the end result is kind of a mash-up between a John Hughes soundtrack and the French sounds of bands like M83 and Phoenix. Does that sound appealing? Can you dance? You can? Good, because Irrational will have you high-tailing it to retro night with your boogie shoes on.


However, there’s also a melodic side to the group, which also helps elevate them above the usual electro-throwback stuff that you may have heard. Opener “Not That Kind” has such a pulsing throb to it, it’s downright giddy. “Silver Mine” is much more minor key, but has a refrain that instantly sticks in your head and refuses to crawl back out. “The Harbour” recalls the jittery feeling of Tears For Fears’ “Mothers Talk”. “Miss Sunset” is another highlight that will have you reaching for the hair spray. True, the sound is a little samey over 10 tracks, and the album does sort of run out of steam and some goodwill by the final two cuts (“Houston” and “For All the Time”) to some degree – these songs are not horrible, but they feel a bit more ... ordinary, which might be credence to the fact that you get a little too used to the band’s backward glancing sound as the disc progresses. However, Irrational is highly hummable and danceable at the same time, and the uniqueness of the group’s craft makes this an album to grab your beloved and head out on the town so you can live it up like you’re in the days of future passed.

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Zachary Houle is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee for his short fiction, and the recipient of a writing arts grant from the City of Ottawa. He has had journalism published in SPIN magazine, The National Post (Canada), Canadian Business, and more. He also reviews books for bookwookie.ca.


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