Album Review: Music Go Music – Expressions

by Gordon Elgart on October 1, 2009

lp jacket.edit

Expressions by Music Go Music releases on Secretly Canadian on October 6, 2009

Music Go Music are a recent discovery of mine.  When I saw them open for Little Boots at The Independent a couple of weeks ago, I made remarks about how they’re well on their way to being my favorite band.  Since then, I’d been waiting to get my hands on their debut album, Expressions.  I finally did yesterday, and I’ve been spending all day long listening to it and finding out interesting facts about the band.  If I told you that I ordered the vinyl from Insound twenty minutes ago, would you think I might like the album?

The album starts with “I Walk Alone,” and the first thing you hear is some high pitched singing, almost screamed at the top of the lungs, accompanied by a Spanish guitar.  Then you get some seriously funky bass, a groovy drumbeat and killer analog synths.  When the song kicks in, you realize you’re inside of one of those late 70s performance videos, the ones that used to be traded on VHS but now appear all over Youtube.  The music is a time warp.  It’s derivative for sure, but crafted with love.  Frankly, it rocks.

Lots of names go through my head as I’m listening to this:  Abba, Olivia Newton-John, ELO, Leo Sayer, Blondie, The Carpenters, Elton John.  These are good names to go through ones head when listening to an album.  The second track, “Thousand Crazy Nights,” has a real “Secret Agent Man” groove to it.  “Explorers of the Heart” swings like Maxine Nightingale’s “Get It Right Back to Where We Started From.”

The absolute MVP of Music Go Music is the lead singer.  She goes by Gala Bell, but that’s not her real name.  She’s actually Meredith Metcalf of the band Bodies of Water, a band who, up until today, I had heard of but never heard.  It turns out the core of the entire band is also the core of Bodies of Water, so I went ahead and checked out their music, and it was also great.  As for Gala, her voice has all the character of the great singers of that bygone time–at times she even does the odd southern twang that would creep into Abba’s songs from time to time. Listen to “Light of Love” for the most clear example of this.

This isn’t some sort of Abba soundalike band, though.  All the sounds of the late 70s are on here.  The song that is both the most retro track due to its sound is also the most retro track due to its length.  Remember those disco albums that would have a 9-minute track that seemed like it might be way too long for one sitting, but then when it was over, you played it again because the groove was so great?  No?  You don’t?  Well then, check out “Warm in the Shadows,” and you’ll know what I mean.

One thing that Music Go Music is doing to promote this album is absolute genius.  The videos for their songs are all taken from live performances on a variety show called Face Time.  This is a local television show from the ’70s that was invented by the band simply to make some clever videos.  Watch any one of these videos, and you’ll end up with a crush on the band, I promise.  I can’t decide which of the three is my favorite, but I like curly hair, so I’ll include the one for “Just Me.”  There’s also videos for “Warm in the Shadows” and “Light of Love.”

I predict huge things for Music Go Music if they want them. My only worry for their future is that the audience that would most enjoy them might not get exposed to them. I see Music Go Music as a dance-floor band, one that should get popular with 12″ singles and lots of appearances at club nights.  Let’s hope everybody’s favorite DJ starts spinning their stuff.

Expressions is going straight to the top of my Best of 2009 playlist.

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ben October 2, 2009 at 7:02 am

I'm halfway through the video and I think I need to buy this album.

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