Think About Life - Family (2009)
Back in May 2006 we baptized the emergence of the Montreals energetic party machine Think About Life with the release of their self-titled debut. Here they are three years later with their sophomore effort, Family. This time around the trio is as off-the-hook as ever, but since they dropped their debut they have polished their sound, without losing their edge. Three years is a long wait but multi-instrumentalist Graham Van Pelt has been busy with his other band, Polaris prize nominees Miracle Fortress.
Family is broken-toy disco rock, served funky, like a big friendly bowl of sugary breakfast cereal. Upon a base of hearty synths and sweaty drums these tunes bubble with 80s pop guitar licks and are bedazzled with meta-marshmallows of electronic drones and glitchy samples. This alt-dance exterior is a framework from which hang beautifully rhythmic vocals, either musing empathetically about high-school lovers and guilt-ridden bus rides or issuing vaguely strange missives about mysterious wizards and black champagne. The tone is sometimes sly, sometimes frantic but never menacing, ironic or fey. Sounds like LCD Sound System, Outkast, Blur, TV on the Radio, Cars and Quincy Jones-era Michael Jackson done in the ramshackle, outsider style of Public Enemys producers the Bomb Squad. Family is probably as influenced by cartoon theme songs and 8-bit video game music as the L.A. riots. Beyond its charming pop heart and playful nouveau-disco trimmings, Family can also serve as a floatation device in case of bad-vibes. Step into their rad imagination, they got the magic touch.