PENGUIN PRISON – Penguin Prison

It’s always hard to review an album when there’s only stuff to pick out, and nothing to pick at.  But I suppose I have to start somewhere. The beautiful packaging, done in two-dimensional graphic watercolor shapes (and thankfully not a penguin or prison in sight) is just as detailed and bold, fun and sleek, as the disco-pop sounds that it surrounds. The musician behind the sound, New York based Chris Glover, delivers performances more subdued than Michael Jackson’s, but gives us sounds that are just as flamboyant, spotlight-and-smoke worthy, and unbelievably danceable. You can almost hear Glover’s impish grin as he sings “Don’t Fuck With My Money,” which sounds like a joyful sun-lit celebration in the city streets. Indeed, the music video captures this energy, documentary-style, in a four minute glimpse of Occupy Wall Street.  Glover’s elastic voice darts all around on each track, hitting heavenly falsettos and rolling-current lows. There are ever-changing backgrounds of shimmering synths, clublike beats, swaying choruses, and solid drums. Everything is so deliberate, and perfectly done, listening to this album feels like scaling a cliff 3000m above the Amazon – with a harness, safety net, lights crew, medical and videographer close behind in a helicopter. Exhilarating, and yet nothing can go wrong. (Downtown Records, Adrienne Yeung

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