Young Love shows glimmers of an innovation, but there's plenty of room to grow, too
Bringing some of the newer trends in dance music or hip-hop out into mainstream pop has proved fruitful for some of the biggest names in the business -- in particular, Justin Timberlake. Dan Keyes, the musician behind New York outfit Young Love, is one young artist attempting to do just the same thing. Keyes's voice isn't as smooth-oiled (or as over-produced) as Timberlake's, but he goes for the same pop soul feel -- with about 80% success. The single (and lead-off track) "Discotech" isn't the best example of his efforts, as the verses sound like Bloc Party drained of all the aggressive guitars, before the whole thing bursts into a totally familiar, '80s pop-disco chorus. "Find a New Way" builds from a simple new wave synth bassline to a massive freakout -- and, like many of the songs on Too Young To Fight It, ripe for the transposition to a real club song through a remix. What Keyes really has to do, though, is work out if Young Love is a pop act or more serious electronica. "Closer to You" comes off like Nick Lachey, full of the fake emotion and underwhelming instrumentation of teen pop, and the architecture of a number of the songs is too similar, so that when we get a crescendo to climax it begins to feel manufactured. As with many debuts, Young Love's shows glimmers of an innovation -- here, the seamless melding of pop and electro -- that is not completely followed to its conclusion. Young Love may be successful with Too Young to Fight It's sweet melodies, but there's plenty of room to grow, too.