Friday, July 10, 2009
The Starlight Mints - Change Remains
Let’s be honest: any idiot next door can write Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” What takes real spunk and creative force is a hooky pop song that stays fresh after 20 listens. The Starlight Mints exemplifies my favorite new genre: complex pop. Phoenix is making it, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin thrives on it, and now The Starlight Mints has perfected it. The Oklahoma five-piece takes songs you hear on the radio and adds magic ingredients – psychedelic spacey sound effects, peppered percussion shaking, 70’s bass guitar funk, and whatever feels right at the moment. “Natural” matches crunchy electro-goodness with Nine Inch Nails-esque grittiness and an attitude that’s more playful than the slobbering puppy down the street. Slowly grooving to the tune of Vaudevillian horns, “Zoomba” sounds like a collaboration between Queen and Weezer, complete with falsetto vocal trills. It feels right to drive around, blasting Change Remains with the windows down. Cars around you might be confused at first (“What is this strange, but miraculously catchy music?”), but maybe they’ll turn down the latest Madonna rip-off and hear something worthwhile for once.