This review was written October 22nd, 2014 on a previous blog attempt.
While listening to the entire album, Phantom Pop, my first thought was, “How have I never heard of these guys?” Then I remembered it’s probably because this is their debut album, when else was I supposed to hear them? Needless to say I liked it.
The best way to describe the sound of Wild Party is Power-Pop, which is like pop music, but it goes to the gym a lot and brags to you about it. The album is heavy with dance synth lines and upbeat drumming, a sound similar to Phoenix or The Killers. They are not trying to change the world through their music, just trying to give an album full of lyrics you can relate to and music that will keep a smile on your face. Mission accomplished.
Phantom Pop is the soundtrack of a carefree afternoon we all love to have once in a while. It seems to capture that moment of pure euphoria experienced on a summer cookout with your best friends, right after the third beer kicks in. Not drunk, not tired, definitely not sober, just at that moment of having a permanent smile pasted to your face from being in a perfect moment. It is a great album for the aforementioned cookout, a raging dance party, a windows-down drive, or even to put on for your morning ritual to make it seem tolerable.
Having said that, Phantom Pop will not being entering a seemingly annual list from Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “Top 500 Albums of All Time,” but they weren’t trying for that. The songs do have a tendency to blend together too much for my liking. It becomes difficult to distinguish one track from another. The beats are pleasant and continuous, almost as a detriment to the lead vocals of Lincoln Kreifels. The standout of the album are the vocals of Kreifels, but he gets drowned out by the sizzling beats of most tracks. A shame really. Try to compare it to a pompous band looking to change the world with their music (U2) and it falls short, take it for what it is and this is a great album.
When I Get Older – Straight out of the gate comes a track worthy of any Top 40 radio station in the country. It starts slow with a bass line reminiscent of the “jam” by Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams Come True.” It builds to some brilliant harmonies you soon find are one of their greatest strengths.
Chasin’ Honey – Another great melody. An interesting perspective about the dreams they are pursuing, and the criticism they face from people in their life (parents perhaps) about giving up the struggle. The metaphor about everyone else “chasing honey” gives credibility to a group of guys just doing what they love. AKA – not doing it to make millions. (Although, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind it.)
Take My Advice – The ultimate “I told you so.” A more guitar riff driven track with synth lines more to enhance the rest rather than rely on them. This track also has probably the best showcase of the Lincoln Kreifels vocal range.
They will unfortunately not be coming to the Detroit area anytime soon. However, if they continue to make albums as good as this there will be a demand they cannot ignore from every corner of the country.