Thursday, October 25, 2007

Review: De Novo Dahl - Shout

Label: Roadrunner Records

Released: 2007

I'm gonna cut to the chase here. "Shout" is the biggest slice of musical joy I've heard since U2 released "Beautiful Day" seven years ago. The song bursts with unadulterated happiness. It's hooks and harmonies grab you right from the start. A tide of pop beauty rolls in on driving rhythms, infectious bass lines and waves of guitar, organ and voice and it flows out on low-key verses whose soulful vocals clear the way for the tide to return.

"Shout" acts as the mission statement for the EP (and perhaps the band as a whole), but the other two non-remixes don't give up any ground. They follow the same undeniable plan that makes the whole experience nothing short of exhilarating. Their mix of pop and soul in the vocals and keys with a rock edge, courtesy of a big guitar sound and an animated rhythm section, and the electronic details of the omnichord rocks as hard and passionately as the White Stripes, yet is as quirky and fun as Devo or They Might Be Giants. While the songs build from quiet to explosive, the actual energy never lets up, not even for a moment.

The second three tracks on the EP are remixes of the first three. While they do a few interesting things, the originals cannot be contained by their tricks and therefore the remixes never seem to capitalize on the strengths of the originals. The quality of the songs in their purest form makes the remixes expendable.

Let me leave you with one warning about this EP: If you play "Shout" really loud, be careful. You're liable to experience pure ecstatic joy.

Rating: 9/10



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