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The New Romantic Revival

January 19th, 2009

The New Romantic revival is dawning again. Remember when “Alternative” and “New Wave” meant almost the same thing? That was twenty to thirty years ago. The following mentions are rated minor NSFC – Not safe for Christians (profanity and explicit lyrics). Some of the tracks are very listenable.

The industry let the term music be redefined. For two generations it has been forced into a little hole where the only valid instruments were the electric guitar, rock drum set, and one angry singer with no harmonic support. Fortunately this trend is loosing its grip. Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm are returning.


  • The Killers – Day and Age just NAILED the 80s romantic. Are we human or are we dancer? The required elements are all there. Even the almost not English-correct things make it awesome. I keep thinking, “Shouldn’t those words be plural?” Favorite Track: Human of course. Lyrical moment: “Will your system be alright?”

  • Shiny Toy Guns – We Are Pilots the male and female vocalists taking turns. Very light bouncy synths, background chorus. Simple drum sets. Most enjoyed tracks: Waiting, You Are the One, Don’t Cry Out. Lyrical moment “Why are the robots so sad?”

  • The Mary Onettes – Traditional “rock” instrumentation that fools you into thinking that you missed this album from the 80s, but it is brand new. Sweden does Liverpool! Favorite: The Laughter, ironically moody.

  • The Postal Service – Death Cab’s side synthpop project. They used lots of quirky sounds and the witty boy/girl responses on Nothing Better are not to be missed. Lyric Moment: “I’ll be the water wings” on the Nintendo-esque Brand New Colony.

  • Fischerspooner – Odyssey is not exactly as current as these, but it helped pave the way for them. Tracks: Just Let Go, Everything To Gain, All We Are. Lyric brilliance awarded for “We need a war”.


An honorable mention is M83 – Saturday=Youth. This is more indie, and not as popular as the above groups. If nothing else they get eleven points for the sweet recreation of 80s on the cover:

Boys and Girls on film.

The brilliant part of this is that these groups fall into the modern “alternative” category and will be pushed down the throats of the teen generation. Thus the groups can restore some intelligence, harmony, and fun into the music. This will balance the angst and noise that has been so prevalent of late.

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