Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Go! Team - Proof Of Youth

The Go! Team
Proof of Youth (Sub Pop, 2007)
Grade: B

Download: The Go! Team - "Grip Like a Vice"
Download: The Go! Team - "Doing It Right"

Proof of Youth, the sophomore album from The Go! Team, certainly lives up to its title. The album is bursting with just as much excitable, '70's-inspired pop as 2004's Thunder, Lightning, Strike.

It's impossible to accuse The Go! Team of a lack of energy and originality. At a time when the dance music market was more or less dominated by clunky electro-punk and super modern computer noises, The Go! Team stood out as one of the few bands who made music exhibiting both creative songwriting, eclectic arrangement and a great deal of musical proficiency. And that's true today, as well. Proof of Youth stands out due to its hip-hop-infused '70's revival sound. It's a bold statement in a time when bringing back the '80's is all the rage.

The whole album is supremely danceable. It's something you could put on at a party and let run the whole way through. One thing I've always felt The Go! Team does really well is the vocal mix. I really like the fact that Ninja's vocals weave into the background and then into the foreground and then drift off again because her raps have a lot of potential to be in competition with the rest of the band. As it stands, rather than competing, her vocals punctuate and accentuate the diversity of sounds on the record.

And here comes the "but…". Proof of Youth doesn't really feel like a new album. If you mixed the tracks in with tracks from Thunder, I would not be able to tell the difference between the two musically. I'd say on a whole, Proof has less filler than Thunder (And, really, Thunder was pretty slim on filler, so that doesn't say much.), but I'd hate to see such a unique band fall into the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset.

It's also worth noting that Chuck D. makes a fantastic guest appearance on the track "Flashlight Fight."

(April Wright)

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