October 23, 2017 New Politics – Lost In Translation (Album Review)
Transition and evolution is what Alternative Rock trio New Politics are all about. Less than the obvious meaning, their fourth studio album, Lost In Translation, is the next step in the band’s attempt at reinvention. Coming 2 years following 2015’s Vikings, and 4 years after the mega success of 2013’s A Bad Girl in Harlem, New Politics dug deep to explore new boundaries on Lost In Translation.
Released on October 6, 2017 via DCD2/Warner Bros Records, Lost In Translation is a product of Danish-born David Boyd (lead vocals) and Søren Hansen (bass/guitar/keys/vocals), along with Long Island, New York native Louis Vecchio (drums) forging stronger bonds after spending ample time together. These guys share space on a tour bus, they even shared a loft when Boyd and Hansen migrated from their homeland to Brooklyn a few years ago. All coming from different walks of life musically, together, New Politics are ready to take the next step in their growth.
Ten songs in total, many of these were written while the band were in fact traveling on tour. Giving listeners a first sample of what Lost In Translation would be all about, back in the summer, they released the single “One Of Us.” A song that channels positivity, unity, and maturity, it was a strong introduction, and substantiates Boyd’s ideology that the band refuses to be stuffed into genre stereotypes. That said, flipping Indie Alternative on its head with catchy lyricism, opening track “C.I.A.” possesses a tone that is musically smart and infectious while a schoolyard chorus rips in nicely.
From there, the aforementioned “One Of Us” is a big hug of acceptance interspersed with an anthemic rip of shredding guitar work while bleeding textures of both The Beatles and Queen. Then, the boys team up with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on “Tell Your Dad.” A tune with an oriental vibe, it offers the idea that selfishness and spirituality are opposing forces. Going forward, “Madeleine” is a calliope driven bit of brilliant madness. Featuring a opening piano that you could imagine all three guys breaking out into laughter during the recording sessions, it picks up to speed with a Pop-like soundtrack feel. Then, on a more serious note, “Color Green” fits in as a great resting space with beautiful keyboard and acoustic guitars working together nicely with Boyd’s voice. An emotional song, it is different than anything New Politics have done before.
Continuing on, checking the tone once again, “Lifeboat” is an in-your-face Pop Punk influenced cut that is just plain fun, and could easily been seen as a setlist highlight for upcoming New Politics shows. On the other side of the spectrum, “Lifted” is an eclectic mix of styles ranging from Electronic, Rock, and even Triba,l which are all tied together nicely with strong melodic lines. This is before the catchy nature of “Istanbul” where Rock guitars meet terrific harmonies.
With the record coming near its end, “East Coast Thrilla” has a swagger that combines shredding guitar, steady Hip Hop drums and bass line, wrapped with a solid dose of crystalline vocals. Concluding the journey, the heartfelt “Clouds” takes it all back to what is important in life for New Politics, who have grown individually as well as a unit.
Simply put, Lost In Translation does not following any particular formula, but that is where it excels. No two songs are identical, and New Politics do not shy away from experimenting with sounds. Certainly their most Pop driven album to date, some listeners may be a little confused as to what direction the band is going, but others who know them will realize they are just staying true to themselves.
New Politics do not wish to conform to a genre, they simply want to make music that is from their hearts, and that is exactly what Lost In Translation does. It has the dynamics of a Beatles record ala 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band along with the color and bright spots to make it a delightful listen. For these reasons, Crypticrock gives Lost In Translation 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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