Tanlines | Mixed Emotions

True Panther Sounds (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  March 13, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars

Tanlines

The first 40 seconds of "Brothers," the opener from Tanlines' full-length debut, are boring — ambient beach whooshes, soft-rock synths, reverb-y guitar loops, and the sort of clickety-clack rhythms that dominate every anonymous electro-pop jam these days. But then something fantastic happens. Or, actually, vocalist Eric Emm happens. In a husky, mysterious, mesmerizing baritone, Emm's atmospheric croon chops through the mix like a samurai sword, landing somewhere between Bob Marley and Depeche Mode. On lightweight, straightforward dance-pop cuts like "Green Grass" and "Not the Same," he's a next-level talent floating above B-side neon goo. Mixed Emotions is a shiny bear-hug of an album — sometimes short on fresh ideas, but never lacking in heart. Get it straight: Tanlines aren't a band to sleep on. At their best (with multi-instrumentalist Jesse Cohen pumping out deft, multi-tiered grooves), the Brooklyn-based duo make ass-shaking transcendent. "Cactus" works wonders with its tumbling beats and glistening shards of guitar. Even better is "Nonesuch," an ultra-sexy big city slow jam drenched in Miami Vice reverb, building to an emotional climax. "Alright, I said/I'm ready to know!" Emm pleads, desperate for romantic closure. His heart's been slung through the deepest, muddiest Brooklyn puddle — and we're reaping all the benefits.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Dance, rock, Eric Emm,  More more >
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