Review by Shannon Shumaker
Superbody’s 80’s infused, pastel textured new album will take you back in time with some of the most creative pop music you’ll hear all year. Strong bass, heavy synth and some of the most unique vocal work you’ve heard in a long time blend together to create a one of a kind sound - something that this Chattanooga duo have worked hard to achieve.
Easily the best thing about Youth Music is just weird and out there it is. 80’s inspired synthpop is currently gaining a lot of traction in popular music, but rather than merging modern pop with a nod to the 80’s with the use of synth, Superbody have gone all out to create something entirely different than their peers. The result is an unintentionally retro sounding release - simplistic but with massive production. The songs on Youth Music are catchy as hell, but don’t abide by modern pop standards, and that’s what makes them so strong.
The first thing that will stand out about this album and Superbody’s sound are the unconventional and highly distorted vocals. “Real Luv” serves as an intro of sorts, letting listeners really get a grasp of what to expect from the album before diving into the wildly catchy “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!,” but before they do, the duo wastes no time in smacking you right in the face with their trademark deep (and almost comical at times) vocal work. The thing about “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” though, is it works. The most prominent thing about the song at first is the catchy bass line, followed by the memorable chorus. And if you’re not a fan of the vocals, there’s a big chance that you will be by the time this song comes to an end.
Youth Music as a whole is massive and over the top. Musically, this means an incredible use of synth alongside deep, funky bass and smart guitar work. The vocals are so overproduced at times that it’s almost funny, but it works, meshing perfectly with the music. The thing is, if the vocal work sounded raw at all, it just wouldn’t sound right. “Patricia” is the catchy as hell single that comes four songs in with strong guitar work, electronic drums and wild synth blending together beautifully, and if you’re not dancing by the time the first chorus comes in, then this album probably isn’t for you.
These songs aren’t without some diversity, either. The lighter sounding “Dishes” contrasts well with the dark, synth driven intro of “Falling 4 U.” And although “Falling 4 U” starts very dark, it quickly blooms into something warm, bright and emotionally driven. A few songs later, “City Boy Blues” feels like things are finally starting to wind down before leading into the more emotional ballad of sorts, “Teach Me How 2 Luv.” This second to last song is one of the slower, more emotional songs on the album. Despite the playful spelling in the song title, “Teach Me How 2 Luv” actually does feel quite raw and emotional, especially coming from Superbody.
Closing out Youth Music is “Memories,” and while the song itself leaves a little to be desired of a final track, the spoken words at the very end really drive the point and message of the album home: “Music is this feedback loop.” Youth Music might be very 80’s inspired, but the fact of the matter is, this album is coming out in 2017. There have been countless changes in popular music since the 1980’s but the sentiment remains the same, and Superbody have hit the nail on the head with this release.
Listen to "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"
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