Nov 2011 15

Monostrip - The Grand YouthMonostrip
Category: Electro-pop
Album: The Grand Youth
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Energetic and nostalgic, Monostrip’s The Grand Youth recaptures the neon spirit of 1980s synthpop.


Monostrip is a Swedish electro-pop band bent on reintroducing the world to a style of music mostly lost since the mid ‘80s. With The Grand Youth, they have managed to capture the bright neon of that period and blend it with a more modern club flair, creating an overall lively and highly danceable sound.

If you are old enough to remember the hopping that passed for dancing in most high school parties and nightclubs in the ‘80s, you already know the choreography that goes along with this album. Energetic and vibrant, even the more subdued songs are brimming in positivity. The album begins with “Too Many Hearts,” a song that sets the tone for the next 10 tunes. Its fast tempo and constant guitar riff back the gentle vocals and urge the listener’s feet to move. “Miami,” the first single from The Grand Youth, is hot pink spandex in musical form. It sounds like any generic synth-driven song from a mid ‘80s teen sex comedy starring the Coreys, maybe for a scene where the young heroes have stolen a Porsche and driven it through an aerobics studio. One of the better songs is “Like a Drug,” still energetic and synth-laden, but with strong vocals that carry more emotion than the rest. “The Rift” falls back to a gentle dance beat and subtle vocals found in “Too Many Hearts,” while “Monostripper” plays like newer Placebo with vocalist Mattias Johansson even sounding a bit like Brian Molko as he reaches the higher notes. Another song designed to draw an emotional response is “Brooklyn Bridge,” and it’s all in the vocals as the singer seems to be awed by the sight of the neon lights of a late night big city. Of the final four songs, “Drowning” is the most interesting with a female vocalist and a vibe like a less dramatic Evanescence tune. The rest are just more electro-pop tunes with syths, electronic drums, and pleasant vocals. They are still enjoyable, but no longer distinct.

In all, Monostrip’s The Grand Youth has a fun sound and the group has successfully managed to recapture much of the effervescent spirit of the 1980s synthpop movement. Johansson’s vocals are charming, at times revealing a passion not often heard in dance music, and it is easy to fall into step with bouncing rhythms.

Track list:

  1. Too Many Hearts
  2. Miami
  3. Like a Drug
  4. The Rift
  5. Monostripper
  6. Brooklyn Bridge
  7. Ruin It All
  8. Rosco
  9. Drowning
  10. Writings on the Wall

Monostrip Website
Monostrip MySpace
Monostrip Facebook
Wonderland Records Website
Wonderland Records Facebook

Purchase at:
Amazon MP3


Charity VanDeberg (CharityV)

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