MGMT, Yeasayer, Passion Pit, Cut Copy… So many bands have built careers around the arena-ready sound of ‘80s synthpop acts. After the success that is True Loves, Hooray For Earth should be added to that list of bands who’ve managed to pull that feat off.
True Loves is an unrelenting pop assault. From the first track to the closer, each song sweeps the listener up in massive hooks. Each second of this record is mixed with layer upon layer of synthesizers, all sandwiched between deep, rolling basslines, and Noel Heroux’s reverb-drenched voice filling out the top end. It’s a lot to take in one sitting, but those who are up to it will be rewarded.
Highlights aplenty, too. “Realize It’s Not The Sun” is an airy intro to the album, with the lyrics backed primarily by a choir and drum beat. “Last Minute” sounds brighter, working with a jangly piano that carries the melody. The title track dives even further into the ‘80s throwback by punctuating each bar with an 8-bit ringing noise, as if the band were earning infinite 1-ups in some unnamed NES game. “No Love” breaks up the synthetic instrumentation with a punchy horn section. “Bring Us Closer Together” is a superb New Wave anthem that came several decades too late for the Pretty in Pink soundtrack.
On True Loves, Hooray For Earth achieve a sound that many have imitated, but few have pulled off this well since, perhaps, Yeasayer’s Odd Blood. As a whole, the album can amount to aural overload. If there’s an album that calls for a breather between listens, it’s this one. But, taken individually, this is an unbelievable collection of songs that will be finding their way onto mix CDs and iTunes playlists for a long time to come.