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Positive Feedback ISSUE 59
january/february 2012


Cherub, MoM & DaD
by Michael Mercer


Elm and Oak

An electro pop duo from Nashville? You bet your ass they know how to bang beats and keep it funky. Cherub are dope (cool, catchy, fun, danceable, whatever other adjectives you'd like to attach to that word). It's as simple as that. I wish this record wasn't so much fun, as I would have an easier time writing about it! This is future pop. Yes; unfortunately here I am again, trying to assign a classification to a killer album that we've been rockin' non-stop since we got it! Cherub blend genres so smoothly, from electro beats and acid stabs to head-bobbin' reggae vibes. This is funky tech house with a dash of Prince and cosmic jazz overtones. They have a firm grasp on the art of using spatial properties within the soundstage creating hypnotic, ambient club-bangers that are slamming on the dance floor and great for just kickin' back with your friends. Think Passion Pit meets Pink Floyd. They've crafted an astonishingly soulful electronic record while keeping it bumpy and moving. This is the kind of album I was looking for, something to get my ass up and off the listening couch and dancing with my wifey.

With a track title like "You, me and Jodeci" how could you not listen to that? It's funny as it is brave. If you're bringing smooth eighties r&b into the mix by name, you better be able to back it up with something special. The song delivers the goods. "La Casa Del Obispo" kicks off with distant vocal samples, sounding like chatter you'd hear standing outside the club on a Saturday night, talking about getting on the "guest list", that infamous barrier between mere patrons and trainspotters, the in and the out-crowd. Cherub moves the introduction into the club sonically, as the music gets louder and starts to pound. Prince-like vocals ride the bouncy, wavy kickdrum, and as the energy builds you can't help but raise your hands and shake your money-maker; especially if you happen to be listening with friends who like to dance. This is music for new club kids! Sorry Michael Alig, we've gone on without you buddy. While I don't agree with the sentiment behind "Monogamy" (use your imaginations) it's a downright dirty, nasty bit of groovy acid house aimed at the dance floor. This sounds like my generations "We Are Family". Guess that says more than I would like about us. Well, all you have to do is watch The Social Network to see where it all went wrong (not blaming Facebook for anything, itís the cutt-throat intentions behind the story). However, as the old song goes: "If this is wrong, than I don't wanna be right"! I can't help but move in my seat as I type these words, and that action speaks louder than any of my poetic musings could ever hope to express.

There's another aspect to this album that should help it appeal to the young as well as the disco-initiated, which is an observation my nephew Nicholas shared with me while listening to the record. Nicholas is twenty-seven years old and plays the piano, keyboards, and drums and writes his own music and lyrics (all very catchy emotive pop). He also plays video games. He told me that the band "obviously played Final Fantasy". He says there are sounds that are similar to the game, but that it doesn't seem like they've merely sampled the game's soundtrack, rather they were influenced by it and extrapolated their own flavor from it. I thought this was interesting. "Doses and Mimosas" (brilliant song title by the way); the single, is another fist-pumping crowd-pleaser. The song is silky smooth funky house, the kind of track you'd hear at an after-party in South Beach Miami during Winter Music Conference (the world's largest gathering of dance music devotees). The festival is like a SXSW for electronic music. "Doses and Mimosas" is also a fantastic party anthem. I mean, with a bumpin' chorus like "doses and mimosas, champagne and cocaine, how you get me through" you can't help but get up off your ass and move!

That's what this album is all about: Getting up and moving, not sitting back and critically listening. Leave that for the rest of your collection. Cherub's MoM and DaD came here to get you boogying, and why not enjoy yourself a little. Life is too short to sit and analyze everything to death all day. Me; I'm going to spin this album in my next DJ set. This is music for dancing, jogging, cleaning the kitchen, shit, this will even make a good time out of cleaning the bathroom! Crack a bottle, a can, whatever your pleasure, and jump into Cherub's anthemic grooviness. MoM and DaD is going to be one of those albums that my wife complains about, and very soon I might add. Not because she doesn't like it, it's because I like it too much! Now, does it get any better than that?