Buy and mash ups interspersed with poignant, almost eastern sounds. ‘Voices’ is a triumph as it takes the soft rock genre and makes you proud of it. Now when could you ever say that? With a chorus that will stick in your head for days giving you many of those ‘shower moments’, it rounds out the first half of the album perfectly and even leaves you forgiving the use of the vocoder.
‘Joey Rogers’, the star of the futuristic concept aforementioned is an instant winner with its shimmering synth work combining nicely with the soulful R & B vocals demonstrating Ford’s growing ability. Indeed, the interplay between him and guest vocalists Jeff Gitelman from the pop and soul act, The Stepkids and Autre Ne Veut is one of the album’s best assets. The heavily R & B ‘Break Inside’ is perhaps the best example. ‘Surrender’ possesses a rock solid bass line that sets up the slow jam vibe perfectly. The vocoder is back in spades on the jaunty ‘Worlds Of Regret’, a pumper of a track that is perfectly placed to give the album the spritely send off it deserves.
Ford & Lopatin have probably copped the inevitable swipes about unoriginality but to to see this record as simply a rehash of times past would be a grave mistake. It’s far more than that just a rehash of the 80s. While definitely nostalgic in form, there is also a futuristic sound at work, very much in keeping with the forward looking history repeating the them against us theme. What’s impressive is the leap that the duo have made in mastering the machinations of the studio. There are dozens of little studio quirks amid the album’s clean and crisp sound that serve it well and are indicative of their growing talent in both an artist and producing sense. While their work as Games was good, Channel Pressure elevates Joel Ford and Daniel Lopatin into the realm of electronic pop gold.
James Stocker – June 26th, 2011.
Ford & Lopatin (USA)
From the album, Channel Pressure’, Softward/Mexican Summer