Confident Music for Confident People is a title that does not seize the essence of Confidence Man‘s debut record. Yes, this is music confident people can jam to, but strangely enough, the record is filled with tunes fitting for funny-looking misfits or geeky loners. This is an album for individuals that want to dance like the world is not watching, even when passersby give the occasional glance or two. Through all this fun, there is always a pointed edge in the lyrics that keep this Australian band from being one-dimensional.
Confidence Man very influenced by LCD Soundsystem. There is an awkward funk to the instrumentation that can bring listeners back to the moment they put on
Sound of Silver for the first time. There is also the casualness within Janet Planet’s vocals that strangely never interferes with the melody of a song. Confident Music… is an album that explores the notion of cool and uncool without resorting to cheesy or overly sweet melodies or lyrics.
What the album does well is create a small world that listeners can laugh and relate to. The words act as a catalyst to dance rather than a detractor that forces you outside the experience.
“C.O.O.L. Party” can get your feet moving with its shiny disco beats, even while a story is being retold. Planet tells of finding herself in a party for a guy named Dave. There is a part of the brain that wonders whether the narrator has a plastic personality or is exploring how dull it is to be the coolest person in the room.
That is in contrast to
“Don’t You Know I’m in a Band”, which has a very bold and braggadocios personality helming the vocals. Though the lyrics can repel if they were actually said in reality, there is an element to the album that makes you want to feel this man’s traits stick on you. You become the confident man, dancing to the dark, squelchy instrumentation that represents the discomfort one can have meeting such a guy. It is a swampy menacing feeling, but Confidence Man makes it work.
Confidence Man create an album that does more for the listener than the electronic genre, which is a good thing. Listeners put themselves in the shoes of these characters whose control streams from all of these lively beats and vocables.
“Try Your Luck” and “Boyfriend” have synths that are so upbeat that they make you feel control that directly contrasts the bothersome situations in the lyrics.
The album does not stray away from more mainstream electronic structures.
“Out the Window” is what would happen if Madonna collided with US Girls, while “Bubblegum” feels exactly like a bubblegum pop track. Songs like “Sailboat Vacation” and “All the Way” lose the traction found throughout the record, reducing it to more common pop. The album’s redemption is “Fascination” which transcends the element of dancing by yourself. It is the song that makes you want to bring more people into your lonely dance. There is a contrast between the hopeless, yet headstrong lyrics and the inspiring electronics. There is still a strangeness to each beat, but confident people do not care if that is the case.
Confident Music… does not work under the assumption that you will come into this album as a confident person; instead, Confidence Man want you to come out of the album with a fierceness not found before first listen. Dance like nobody is watching, then bring someone else. Bring everyone and feel cool. Cooler than you have ever been.