Release Date: October 16th, 2006 (itunes only)
Taking one look at the cover of Ezra Reich’s new album Milkshake Arcade, it’s clear that the artist is going for a classic pop sound. But, while pink milkshakes may immediately conjure up the thought of sixties soda fountains, the album itself is concerned with a later generation’s pop nostalgia: late-seventies new wave.
Much of Milkshake Arcade sounds like David Bowie in his Thin White Duke period covering tunes from the Cars. It’s a winning formula, with songs like the opener Supergirl (My Daughter) and The Answer floating along effortlessly on breathy come-ons and stabbing pop/funk guitar. Tracks like these, and the delicious doo-wop of Walking In Circles, put most of today’s ubiquitous second-generation new wave acts to shame. Not everything works so well (Got 2 Me and On And On succumb to their clever sounds and forget to present a worthy melody), but the majority of the album is strong. Not only that, but it feels very authentic. Step back in time twenty-five years and these songs would fit in just fine. Inside The Box and I Need A Moment Alone, in particular, sound like long lost classics.
Much of the credit goes to Reich’s vocal performance… a mix of classic rock attitude and throaty cabaret. Even when the songs don’t quite measure up, Reich is always captivating. The same can certainly be said for Milkshake Arcade. It takes a revivalist trend that’s so completely dominant at this point in history and stretches it until it sounds like nothing else out there right now. B
Key Tracks: Supergirl (My Daughter), Walking In Circles, Inside The Box