Just when you thought that whole neo-‘60s movement was over for a while in pop music, along come The Januaries with their fluid blend of retro style pop and modern rock. And you thought Austin Powers and his millions of imitators (“Groovy, baby! Yeah!”) beat that well beyond its natural death.
So how is the music the Januaries create any different from this whole pseudo-‘60s concentrated fad? It might be easier to describe the music and let you see for yourself how it differs. The Januaries self-titled debut album is a variety of bouncy Europop (from Los Angeles) mixed with attitude-spiced, guitar-based pop rock. They are a sassy, sensual Cardigans meets a female-fronted Smashmouth. With a healthy new wave twist. And some samples.
There’s also an underlying sensuality in all of the songs. It doesn’t only come through in the lyrics (for example, the suggestive, bawdy mood of songs like “Black Transmission” or “Chocolate and Strawberries”) but also in lead singer Debbie Diamond’s smooth, yet seductively whiny voice.
“I want people to listen to [the music] when they’re making love, or driving an Italian convertible sports car,” Diamond said in a press release. But I say you could listen to this CD while reading a romance novel with a faded cover or while driving a rust-covered 1989 Grand Am with all the windows rolled down. You’d still hold onto the glossy, French pop-inspired atmosphere, and they don’t check up on those kinds of things, do they?
The Januaries debut album is surprisingly modern and retro at the same time. Many of these songs would be right at home running over the credits of an ‘80s Brat Pack movie. The rest of them have the sleek pop feel that would make them comfortable selections for an episode of The Real World.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/januaries-st/