Jack Beauregard: Irrational

Irrational will have you high-tailing it to retro night with your boogie shoes on.

Jack Beauregard


Label: Tapete
US Release Date: 2013-06-11
UK Release Date: 2013-06-10
Online Release Date: 2013-06-07

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.


In Americana music the present is female. Two-thirds of our year-end list is comprised of albums by women. Here, then, are the women (and a few men) who represented the best in Americana in 2017.

If a single moment best illustrates the current divide between Americana music and mainstream country music, it was Sturgill Simpson busking in the street outside the CMA Awards in Nashville. While Simpson played his guitar and sang in a sort of renegade-outsider protest, Garth Brooks was onstage lip-syncindg his way to Entertainer of the Year. Americana music is, of course, a sprawling range of roots genres that incorporates traditional aspects of country, blues, soul, bluegrass, etc., but often represents an amalgamation or reconstitution of those styles. But one common aspect of the music that Simpson appeared to be championing during his bit of street theater is the independence, artistic purity, and authenticity at the heart of Americana music. Clearly, that spirit is alive and well in the hundreds of releases each year that could be filed under Americana's vast umbrella.

Keep reading... Show less

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

This week on our games podcast, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

This week, Nick and Eric talk about the joy and frustration of killing Nazis in Wolfenstein: The New Order.

Keep reading... Show less

Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

Artist biographies written for a popular audience necessarily involve compromise. On the one hand, we are only interested in the lives of artists because we are intrigued, engaged, and moved by their work. The confrontation with a work of art is an uncanny experience. We are drawn to, enraptured and entranced by, absorbed in the contemplation of an object. Even the performative arts (music, theater, dance) have an objective quality to them. In watching a play, we are not simply watching people do things; we are attending to the play as a thing that is more than the collection of actions performed. The play seems to have an existence beyond the human endeavor that instantiates it. It is simultaneously more and less than human: more because it's superordinate to human action and less because it's a mere object, lacking the evident subjectivity we prize in the human being.

Keep reading... Show less

Gabin's Maigret lets everyone else emote, sometimes hysterically, until he vents his own anger in the final revelations.

France's most celebrated home-grown detective character is Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret, an aging Paris homicide detective who, phlegmatically and unflappably, tracks down murderers to their lairs at the center of the human heart. He's invariably icon-ified as a shadowy figure smoking an eternal pipe, less fancy than Sherlock Holmes' curvy calabash but getting the job done in its laconic, unpretentious, middle-class manner.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.