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Strangers by RAC

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Photo courtesy of My Old Kentucky Blog.com

Photo courtesy of My Old Kentucky Blog.com

Photo courtesy of My Old Kentucky Blog.com

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(New) Music Makes Me Lose Control

-Album Reviews for Inquiring Minds-

Artist- RAC

Album- Strangers

Ten-Second Bio- Alright class, for those of you not familiar with RAC hold tight, it was originally a term which stood for Remix Artist Collective, and was formed with the goal of giving released songs “a style of remixing that strayed from the ‘club mix’ archetype, while creating new incarnations of songs that expanded their genre and musical arrangement”.  For our next lesson, we’ll learn that RAC is no longer a collective but a solo project of André Allen Anjos.  Anjos, an artist with experience in remixing, producing, and song-writing, comes from Portugal, but now resides as the coordinator of RAC.  The RAC has put out over 200 remixes of popular tracks from artists (see U2, Bob Marley, Lady Ga Ga).  Strangers is RAC, and by extension Anjos’s, first foray into original material.

What Can My Ears Expect? – If its featured artists you want, then Strangers will not disappoint, Anjos collaborates with many of the musicians whose material he has remixed in the past.  Among the impressive number of guests are the likes of Bloc Party’s Kele, Penguin Prison, Tegan & Sara, Tokyo Police Club, Alex Ebert, and Matthew Koma.

Most of the tracks on Strangers bring an upbeat flow that serve to further Anjos’s aim at catchy songs.  My only complaint is that the album as a whole seems to bleed together into a merry-go-round of happiness, never stopping off to look at other matters.  This is not to say that the lyrical content does not diverge into more serious topics, it is merely my observation that a multitude of the songs run at the same tempo, and seemingly have similar beat structures.  Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish when one song has ended and another has begun.  One of my friends stated that the album “sounded like music one might hear at Forever 21”, and I agreed, while I really enjoyed a lot of tracks on the album, variety is always in demand.  That being said, satisfying songs are plentiful on Strangers.

As for the songs that made a mark, I was happy with what I heard; “Let Go” with its three level guitar strum and hand clap supplements did a good job of utilizing Kele’s easily recognizable voice, and served as one of the better pairings on the album.

Another enjoyable track was “Cheap Sunglasses”, in which the combo of Matthew Koma’s vocals and what my untrained ear thought might be a xylophone created a much more sublime version of Mike Posner’s’ “Cooler Than Me”.

I would also like to give a quick shout-out to RAC’s choice of Alex Ebert, front man of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, for providing my favorite track with “Tear You Down”, the replay value on this was able to push me through a whole lab report, which deserves big props in my book.

What Will Their Words Say?-“Anjos & Company” are big on the three stages of relationships; the chase, the honeymoon stage, and the rocky rollercoaster exit from what once was something.

Target Audience-Chromeo, Penguin Prison, Bloc Party, Two Door Cinema Club

 Key Tracks from Strangers– “Let Go” (track 1), “Hollywood” (track 3), “Hard to Hold“(track 5), “Tear You Down” (track 7), “I Should’ve Guessed” (track 12), “Cheap Sunglasses” (track 16)

Grade: Solid 8.5 (out of 10)

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