Album Review: Poolside, Pacific Standard Time
Greatness in the most subtle form is “pure blissfulness”. Poolside, an electronic duo based out of Los Angeles, has done just that; made an album that equates to “pure blissfulness”. If you have never heard the delicate electronic music, from Filip Nikolic and Jeff Paradise, that has you wishing you were sipping a mojito poolside. Then take a gander over to that oversized lounger and order yourself a mojito. Their debut album, Pacific Standard Time, starts off real mellow and real instrumental. “Tulsa” lets you in, gets you comfy and gets you ready for the rest of what is to transpire over the course of the next 68 and a half minutes. Let me tell you, it won’t seem like that long once you drift away in this great and magical album.
The second track, “Next to You”, is an upbeat electronic jam with a chorus that is heavy on harmonic melody. Even when the harmonized lyrics are not being sung, you can still hear where they would fit in perfectly with the music. In “Why You Wanna” they come at you with less harmony and a little more direction. They sound a little angrier, a little more aggressive with their message. It fits with the song as they are questioning an ex-lover on why they would want to betray them with never actually mentioning what they did to betray them. The aggressive nature of the lyrics is put over the top of a smooth electronic beat that makes it seem as if it isn’t a big deal that anything ever happened to the two lovers.
The next track, “Harvest Moon”, is really a great follow up to the previous song that brings a message that explains that they are still in love with this person. At least, I believe they are talking about the same person. Electronic music with original lyrics always hit home with me. Especially when I can think about past mistakes in my own life that relate to the message. This track is very easy to relate to and has an electronic sound that most people who don’t even listen to this style of music can appreciate. “Slow Down” is the track that introduced me to Poolside. A dreamier song that tells you to take in life’s moments that mean a lot to you. Don’t let the quick pace of modern life sweep you away so you don’t enjoy the ride. If you slow down and listen to this album you will be in a better place after you have completed the ride that is Pacific Standard Time.
“Take Me There” brings you back to the disco days with a new age sound that the Bee Gee’s would be happy to hear. The funky rhythm with the high-pitched chorus is perfectly positioned on this album. They continue with the high-pitched melody in “Kiss You Forever”. This song starts out with a similar feel to “Next to You” and seems like a complimentary sequel. With the beats of the 2 tracks being very parallel, “Kiss You Forever” could just be the very next step after passionately wanting to be next to someone. Poolside seems to keep a very loving message on this album. It could be linked to love lost, love found or a little of both.
“Do You Believe” keeps the dance vibe going with an upbeat jam straight from the 80’s. The way they mix an old school vibe with new age electronica makes an irresistible sound. The 9th track, “Give It A Rest”, keeps the original sound rolling on. The piano in this song gives this electronic gem a pinch of classical feel in which you can lose yourself. Then in “Off My Mind” they slow it down and draw you in. You can hear the waves of the ocean crashing into the shore in the background as they serenade you with a light acoustic rift. The dreamier beach groove “Just Fall In Love” is another song that seems to take you back to the 70’s and 80’s.
“California Sunset” may be the first song where they don’t talk about love or romance. The thing of it is, I believe they are in love with the beach and with the beauty of a California sunset. You hear an element of island sound coming out of a lot of their songs. They do a great job of blending many generations and styles of music together to make their own delicious tasting sound. The 13th track on this album, “Golden Hour”, is the first all instrumental song since the intro. It starts out with more of a 16-bit sound and continues to build and intensify throughout.
“Between Dreams”, another instrumental track, follows up in a more tranquil manner. It is very light on sound but not on complexity. Listen very carefully for all of the different levels of sound in this song as it draws you into its depths. “Without You” comes at you with an instrumental seriousness. When they finally start singing the chorus halfway through the track you have already felt the aloneness through the songs dark tone. The 16th and final track, “Take Me Home”, brings you back to the happy state that is Poolside. You can hear the maracas build alongside a guitar in the beginning of the song and then they break with what sounds like an ocean breeze, reminding them of California and what they call home.
Pacific Standard Time is a perfect reminder of where music has come from and where it is about to go. Poolside gives you an album that you should enjoy and fully appreciate from start to finish.
Release Date: July 9th, 2012