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Some days are dangerous for my relationship. For instance, there's the (incredibly rare) times when I'm out in town, drunk and surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women. That doesn't tend to go down too well with BeautifulLadyPartner. Surprisingly enough, equally as frowned upon are the days when I'm out in town, sober and surrounded by hundreds of records. These are the Days of Disposable Income.
It was on one of these DDIs that I picked up Freeform Five's debut album Strangest Things. The review in the shop used words such as "uplifting", "sleazy" and "electro-pop". Needless to say, I went in for a closer look. It was as soon as I noticed that Lateef the Truth Speaker guested on fourth track, 'Losing My Control', that I was sold. To be honest though, they had me at sleazy.
So what of the album? To me the term freeform does have certain negative connotations - interminable drum solos, a band of 30 men with berets including 16 players of brass instruments; quite frankly, all in all, a cacophony. None of that here. What we have is twelve supremely crafted pop songs.
The album kicks off with the funky 'Electromagnetic'; Tamara Barnett-Herrin's sexy vocals expounding the virtues of pornography enough to give even the most asexual of men weak stims. And the appearance of Lateef on track four certainly doesn't disappoint.
Strangest Things is an album that cannot easily be categorised (always a good thing in my book) effortlessly mixing funk, electro, rap and good ol' fashioned pop. There's more measured tracks as well - 'Easy' and 'Slow' may lack the frenetic energy of much of the rest of the album but neither song affects the feeling of pace that the record has as a whole. Single 'Eeeeaaooww' which features Bounty Killer could easily have come from a Basement Jaxx album. Indeed, it's with Basement Jaxx that Freeform Five could be most readily compared. Except this is the Jaxx mixed with the knowing lyrics and pop sensibilities of Scissor Sisters.
This album may not push any musical boundaries but who cares? It's a collection of excellent tunes and wonderful lyrics and as such is an unqualified success. Now, if only I could ensure my other DDIs were anything like so productive.
2. Eeeeaaooww feat. Bounty Killer
3. What Do I Want From You
4. Losing My Control
6. Strangest Things
7. No More Conversations
8. Let Me Down
11. Ask Me Tomorrow
12. What Are You Waiting For