Review by Shannon Shumaker
Club 8’s new album, Pleasure sounds just how the title suggests. Sensual, slow and very passionate, Pleasure explores the softer and more aggressive sides of love all while keeping listeners captivated and interested with complex instrumentals, soothing vocals and beautiful melodies. From slower, darker and more haunting songs like the opening track, “Love Dies” to more upbeat songs like “Late Nights,” Club 8 have mastered the theme of this album, finding a way to tie even the most diverse songs together.
The album starts on a rather spacey and haunting note with “Love Dies,” but that doesn’t mean that the song isn’t beautiful by any means. The quiet moments in “Love Dies,” which at times, consist of just a strong, deep bass and soft vocals, make the bigger moments in the song shine. Then, “Love Dies” transitions into “Skin,” and the transition is surprisingly smooth for these two very different sounding songs. Where “Love Dies” is more spaced-out and atmospheric, “Skin” is carried by a pounding drumbeat and tense instrumentals. Tying the songs together, though, are the soothing, sensual vocals.
A high point in Pleasure comes in the third track, “Late Nights.” This song still holds some of the intensity as the previous track, “Skin,” but feels much brighter and poppier. Where the first two songs are a bit darker and more haunting, “Late Nights” is the brighter side of Pleasure. The difference in sound also means that the vocals, while still beautiful and somewhat haunting, fall to the wayside in exchange for absolutely stunning instrumentals that are sure to catch your attention and keep it. And then, Club 8 mixes things up yet again with the following song, “Kinky Love,” which is really soft, dreamy and atmospheric. “Kinky Love” is the cumulation of what makes all of the other tracks on Pleasure strong - it’s soothing and haunting, but also sensual and beautiful. The lyricism on “Kinky Love” is also a high point, as it is directly what the title would suggest, especially in lines such as, “I don’t know what I want/But I want it strange.”
One of the most upbeat songs on the album, “Hush” brings in the second half. Compared to “Jealousy Remains,” the darker song before it, “Hush” is poppy, catchy and undeniably upbeat. The instrumentals in this track are similar to those in “Late Nights,” but the vocals don’t fall to the side in “Hush,” remaining dreamy, but a little more energetic. Bringing Pleasure to a close is “Promises We Never Meant To Keep,” which serves as the perfect ending, as it is both hauntingly and heartbreakingly beautiful. Pleasure proves to explore both the dark and light sides of love in these eight tracks, and the result is impossible to describe with just one word. From beginning to end, Pleasure is dreamy, intense, haunting and sensual all at once, and the result is an impossibly human release.
Listen to "Late Nights" or "Kinky Love"
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