Championed by Elm & Oak founder Alex Botwin late in 2010, Murfreesboro’s electropop duo Cherub have continued to cultivate a sound that is equal parts retro-funk and electropop. Just five months removed from their debut, Man of the Hour, the 12 tracks on MoM & DaD see Jordan Kelley (singer/songwriter/guitarist) and Jason Huber (producer/guitarist/vocalist) adding their slightly sophomoric feel-good vibe and progressive electronic beats to Prince’s “Minneapolis Sound” for a fresh take on the dance floor-ready aesthetic.
The disc opens with the nostalgic “What I Want”, which includes a music box-like intro and some of the album’s most effective vocal harmonies. Similar to electro-funk brethren Chromeo, Kelley utilizes the talk box extensively, adding contrast when set against his half-spoken falsettos and depth when delayed or layered with Huber’s harmonies. It’s this falsetto, like that of Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos, that turns Kelley’s lyrics into such ear candy, worthy of repeat listens and karaoke sessions.
The lyrical content stays light, in parallel to the musical feel, but thought-provoking moments occasionally shine through the humor. “Doses and Mimosas” is a thumping track dedicated to “all the bitch ass hoes that hate [Cherub] the most,” but then poses an interesting question: “What’s the point of language if you don’t say what you feel?” The album’s early thoughts on being single (“Monogamy”) turn around by album’s end, when Huber and Kelley mix in both the heartfelt, vocally-driven “Lynndenberries” and “All”, featuring the eye-watering talents of Natalie Prass. The latter is a piano-based duet so sultry that it will land on many a summer mixtape.
MoM & DaD is a snapshot of an evolving band, the moment in which a band maintains the vigor of their early angst but has the ability to write songs through the filter of a love-weary traveler.
Essential Tracks: “Monogamy”, “Doses and Mimosas”, and “All”