Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Best Albums You Never Heard

By Kurt Torster

The Yeah You’s “Looking Through You” (2009)

It’s pretty much a dead horse to complain that music is just not the same as it used to be. Whether the complaint is about the overuse of technology (like auto-tune), compression or just the basic lack of good songs, there are always exceptions to the rule, especially if you’re willing to look outside of what the mainstream filters to your ears.

In what is probably the best album I’ve heard in at least 5 years, British duo the Yeah You’s have taken just about every sound I like personally and rolled it around 11 perfectly crafted pop songs that, for whatever reasons I’ve used in the past for an album failing probably apply here.

While the biggest sounds that jump out at you are 80’s Yes and Genesis, keep listening and sounds of Cutting Crew, The Outfield and even Pet Shop Boys will eventually pass your brain. This is intelligently crafted pop that uses the technology afforded rather than rely on it. Vocalist Nick Ingram brings that 80’s Yes vibe home by having a singing style somewhere in the middle of Jon Anderson and Trevor Ravbin.

If you’re a fan of big melodies and even bigger sing along choruses, then you probably won’t find a finer modern album, especially if the majority of your music collection is 25 years old. Songs like “15 Minutes,” “If I Could” and “If It All Runs Out” are upbeat and memorable ear worms of the best kind and will get your foot tapping and your hand turning the volume knob to the right as far as it will go. One listen to “Getting Up With You” will leave you speechless and wondering how it didn’t become THE summer anthem of 2010.

There is not a song I even remotely dislike here and the whole album has that obsessive “repeat play” feeling about it and could be one of the single finest examples of how broken the music industry really is, if they couldn’t pull at least one respectably charting single from it.

The duo has since changed their name to Madfox and from what I gather are working on a new album. Since this disc though is barely 2 years old, maybe it’s not too late for an Island re-release and a proper promotional push? Not bloodly likely I suppose.