Gambit - Take Off And Landing
Now, if you thought that this was going to be pure electro-pop then you would be mistaken. "I'm Sorry" should put you right for it is a slick ballad, perhaps too slick, but goes to show that Gambit is not going to sit around and allow himself to be pigeonholed. He wanted to recreate the music of his youth and so he set about creating an album which is eclectic, presumably reflecting that taste. But don't jump straight to "I'm Sorry" because, I regret to say, it is the only weak song on the album. (And now that the one negative I have to say is out of the way, I can get on with giving this some seriously good praise). Indeed, the album is much much better than that one song would suggest. Indeed, this is one the best pop albums I have heard in a long long time.
Gambit has seemingly developed a knack of writing catchy pop music and being able to adapt it to a format which ought to be knocking at the door of the radio stations demanding to be let in and given an airing. For a self-released debut this is remarkably professional - professionally written, professionally played and professionally-produced. It would seem that Gambit's press releases have it right when they speak of his dedication.
With songs like "This Town", the opener, and especially "Lovers in the Basement", the world needs more pop music like this just like it needs far less venture capitalist real estate brokers on six figure salaries. So, Gambit took the right step. Venturing (no pun intended) into the album, you get the distinct impression that this is an album which signals the arrival of a new talent on the block. And the world had better take notice. Gambit's music is where eighties synth pop should have gone instead of where it went. Light and yet deep; catchy and yet complex; this is a style of pop using the synthesiser to its greatest effect, never dominating but always there. The absurdly catchy "Things Aren't So Bad" demonstrates this to greatest effect.
But this is not all eighties pop and certainly is nothing retro. There are influences here from across a much wider musical spectrum. I can detect the Montreal indie scene in here, but without the sometimes pretentious feel that scene conveys. This is music which was intended to be liked. As such it is warm and inviting - "Ask Yourself" being perhaps the best example on the album. If you come here looking for some guy taking himself far too seriously who stands like a statue and makes some serious sounds which equally serious-looking people listen to seriously and then seriously applaud at the end, then go away.
If you have any enjoyment at all for mid- to late-eighties pop, then you really should check this out. Had this been brought out in that decade it would have been revolutionary and at the same time instantly recognisable. If Gambit starts an eighties revival then I am all for it. Just please, stick to the fashion sense you display on your promo pics. I don't think I would fit that electric blue jacket with padded shoulders I had and I haven't got enough hair left to tease into the gravity defying styles of the decade.
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