Jamiroquai was my guy. I discovered him how everyone else basically discovered him in the nineties. “Virtual Insanity” and its one of a kind sliding floor music video. Changed the game. I stayed up on other British music like Daft Punk and Moloko and even went to England for a time visiting some distant relatives. The impression I got from my adventures and the people I danced and partied with is that they had this thing for ‘disco.’ In fact, they called events or places to dance discos. I as an American knew what disco really was. But I suppose I was thrilled that this island was sort of behind in the times, but also celebratory of the times, equating to a sense of dancing without judgement. Clean Bandit, not surprisingly, a British dance band, is a more modern continuation of that very English spirit – and I was so blessed to experience it first, in the early 2000s.
Released in 2014, 10 tracks, 64 min
A lot of girls say the most cliché thing they possibly could and claim that a band like Clean Bandit, and an album like New Eyes, is just Forever 21 music, or Abercrombie & Fitch music, and that irks me to no end. First of all, this is such good music taken on it’s own, not tied to these corporations. It is these types of attitudes that has always kept my friends stupid when it comes to music preference. I especially hated when I was the driver, excited to play a band like Clean Bandit, and the very second that so and so would hear the track, she would say ‘oh this is what the play at Forever 21, next.’ I never understood that – I could never tell if they thought the music was cool or not cool. It was more of a blanket statement that was meant to make the person saying it sound intellectual.
For the period of time I was listening to music like New Eyes, I was following the trail of what I considered a goddess for at least a year. She was the most beautiful person I had ever scene, not because she was traditionally beautiful of course, but because she had these characteristics, like an interesting nose, full lips (which I kissed), and the body of a dancer. She happened to be a disco dancer, and this disco revival was in. New Eyes capitalized on that essence of time, and I would go to all the events he would invite me to, thinking that one of those nights, we would fall in love finally. But I was just one of many on the dance floor.
There are few things I hate more in this world than being proven wrong about a long-held ideal of mine, especially when it pertains to musical opinion as I pride myself on having a decent grasp of what’s considered truly compelling music & what’s utter garbage worthy of critical evisceration. Regarding this line of thought, Clean Bandit’s phenomenal debut album New Eyes is easily the sharpest thorn in my side, as it goes against every single one of my prejudices against the English trio I’ve cultivated over the years, giving people on the other side of the debate some incredibly well-designed ammo to fire back whenever I voice any gripes about their most recent commercial & creative flops – To roll things back a bit, I’ve spent the last few years absolutely shitting on Clean Bandit as a band, in part for their role in popularizing the mid-teens Tropical Pop revolution that spawned directly from Reggae Fusion & in another for their seeming inability to escape this decidedly-profitable subgenre on 2018’s What Is Love?, shamelessly selling out & following mainstream trends rather than using their immense fame to produce something truly original that could inspire the next generation of Electronic performers to break away from accepted formulas; It seemed every single time you heard the group’s name in the news, it was always attached to an incredibly generic Caribbean-inspired Dance Pop tune that sounded eerily similar to everything else on the radio, generally receiving such critical acclaim for the inclusion of up & coming celebrity artists who were popular with the young’ns, thereby perpetuating the cycle of Pop music’s current monotony by refusing to evolve in any tangible way. I’m sure much of my disdain came from jealousy, as every boring Pop artist with a formulaic style tends to grind my gears when there’re so many brilliant bands out there with incredible understandings of musical theory just waiting to be discovered, but I quickly grew to despise the trio whenever I heard their names, turning the act of trash talking into a somewhat pleasurable hobby I engaged in whenever possible – Well, while modern songs like “Solo” with Demi Lovato are undeniably corny & others like the Sean Paul & Anne-Marie collaboration “Rockabye” still make me want to slit my wrists, I’m pleased to say I’ve gained a newfound respect for Clean Bandit’s earlier days after making a return trip to New Eyes as it’s chock-full of stellar hits I’d previously had absolutely no idea they wrote, the vast majority of their driving compositions accounting for some of my favourite House jams of the last decade. Though this directly conflicted with my fervent hatred, it was actually an astounding revelation of both good & bad implications; On the one hand, it meant Clean Bandit were actually pretty magnificent musicians at one time who’ve surprised me in spectacular fashion, though on the other it means their recent quality has fallen at an exponential rate to a comparably inferior level, validating my current criticisms of their unsatisfying follow-up record wholeheartedly – So, yeah, I guess you could say New Eyes is the gift that keeps on giving.
Official Music Videos
- Jun 02, 2014
- Jack Patterson
- Grace Chatto
New Eyes is the debut studio album by English electronic music group Clean Bandit, released on 30 May 2014 by Atlantic Records in Germany and Ireland, and 2 June 2014 in the United Kingdom, after suffering from several setbacks. The album includes the singles "A+E", "Mozart's House", "Dust Clears", "Rather Be", "Extraordinary" and "Come Over". New Eyes was produced entirely by group members Jack Patterson and Grace Chatto. The album peaked at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry for shipments of 100,000 copies.Continue reading at Wikipedia...
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