RADIO RADIO - LIGHT IN THE SKY
Released February 19, 2016
By Fiona Roome
Light the Sky is Montreal-based Radio Radio’s most recent album. This Acadian duo’s latest creation was released on February 19th, 2016 through Bonsound. It’s an all-around upbeat hip-hop/electronic extravaganza.
Radio Radio kicks off the album with Tonight’s the Night, a track whose nostalgic 80s funk opening would give the boys of Chromeo a run for their money. While their verses definitely lean more towards rap, this recent release from Radio Radio reminds me a lot of Chromeo in its choruses.
Radio Radio are veterans of the stage, boasting hundreds of live shows. In their bio, the band says that they “wanted their next album to capture the energy of their live shows.” While that was referring to Ej feel the zoo (2014), Light the Sky does feel more committed to party and performance than boundary pushing in its musicality.
Light the Sky was definitely the highlight of the album; not all that surprising since it’s the title track. Light the Sky hits all the criteria of a top 40 dance hit. It’s upbeat. It has an anthem chorus with its repetition and catchy rhymes. The rhythm is accentuated with a simple and consistent base drum that makes both the verses and chorus contagious. With all of this combined with its hip-hop verses and a healthy dose of motivational enthusiasm (“belief is a hell of a drug”) in the bridge, Radio Radio masters the formula for a big dance anthem with this track. My Dance Floor, although less uplifting than Light the Sky, does have the makings of a hit as well.
This album is composed entirely of English language songs, a first for the group. Their French Language tracks have a lot of similarities to the music on Light the Sky, if slightly more daring. The French lyrics are in the same vein as the English ones, but musically these earlier works feel more unique than the songs on Light the Sky. It seems like Radio Radio leans more toward the top 40 formula for this newer album. They do, however, do this effectively.
Gabriel L.B. Malenfant and Jaques Alphonse Doucet aka Radio Radio do not suffer from lack of productivity. Radio Radio has released several full length albums prior to Light The Sky. They released Cliché Hot in 2008, Belmundo Regal in 2010, Havre de Grace in 2012, and Ej feel zoo in 2014: in short, a full album every two years since 2008. They also have an EP, Télé Télé (2007).
Overall, the album is unapologetically playful. The songs have their fair share of tongue and cheek lyrics which adds the spice of wit to what could be interpreted as fairly standard top 40 beats. I can’t help but appreciate the fact that Solo Dance Party featuring Leaf describes sorting socks and a Nicholas Cage film as the ideal evening for one.
The tracks are generally upbeat whether favouring a major or minor key. Their funky beats would liven up any party or bar setting. Having heard this last album, it isn’t hard to imagine that Radio Radio would put on a show-stopping performance.