Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this Independent Spotlight I’ll be taking a look at an up and coming indie artist, Bernie Journey, and his new single, ‘Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?’ The single has been released on the independent dance label Phunk Junk Records, and is described as a ‘upbeat, energetic, indie rock/electronica offering.’ The single is available now through Phunk Junk and so are remixes Ros Garcia El Brujo, but for now, let’s check out the actual song:
‘Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?’ introduces itself with a dance floor beat that escalates through a synthesized soundscape. The song relies heavily on synthesized beats and overdubs with a whole lot of reverb. The production is quite good, which is always refreshing since so many independent electronic artists grab a copy of Garageband or Fruity Loops and create really subpar beats. ‘Are You Thinking’ carries itself like a professional studio recording. The mix is clear and each instrument delivers in the fullest capacity.
As the song continues, the virtual soundscape that is crafts becomes increasingly more complex. The song slithers in and out of explosive dance beats and droning echoes and reverberation. There’s even a sly electric guitar in there. In short, the track creates a waterfall effect of musical sound. With that said, the production does feel like it has come straight out of the mid 1980’s. In honesty, it’s the most 80’s esque independent track I’ve ever reviewed. That’s not a bad thing, but it does feel dated, as if the last time you heard music like this was in the ‘Wedding Singer.’
The lyrics to ‘Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?’ are incredibly shallow, but I can’t knock off points for that because they’re intentionally shallow. There’s a difference between a song that feels superficial because it takes itself too seriously and a song that knows exactly what it is and thrives on it. This track is the latter; I imagine Bernie Journey is completely aware that these aren’t exactly the kind of poetic lyrics that will woo this woman into his bed. They’re party lyrics, plain and simple: best enjoyed when drunk or trying to get someone else drunk. Again, that’s not a bad thing. Even Lou Reed had a phase of remarkable shallow content in his lyrics, and the man is a universal icon for poetic lyricism. I can’t compare Bernie Journey to Lou Reed in any way, but both fall into that group of performers who intentionally decided to party a bit more in the lyrical department, which is why I can’t criticize Bernie.
‘Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?’ is a nice party song: it’s shallow, unpoetic, and overproduced, but that’s everything a party song should be. It serves its purpose incredibly well and doesn’t overextend its hand by attempting to be something more. Despite the unimaginative lyrics and droning synths, the song does take you back to the glory days of the synthesized soundscape, reminding you that ‘Wedding Singer’ was actually a pretty great movie.
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