Van She | Idea Of Happiness

Modular (2012)
By RYAN FOLEY  |  July 10, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars


Somewhere in a coastal town right now, Van She's synthpop anthem "Beat of the Drum" is playing while groggy, bubblegum-pink, already-nostalgic 20-year-olds move out of the beach house they rented for a week. Idea of Happiness, the Australian foursome's first album since 2008's V, succeeds in its diligent quest to soundtrack our summers. Its sure-fire ingredients: infectious dance numbers featuring steel-drum beats, squawking gulls, and tumbling waves; stupid, shout-along choruses (from "Calypso": "I feel there's nothing left to do but dance/I feel calypso!"); communal, summertime themes (boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy gets tossed aside like a disposable bathing suit); and incandescent synthesizers that make you think of the sun reflecting off the hood of a convertible. Van She achieved what they set out to do; that's admirable, sure. At the same time, Idea of Happiness never tries to re-imagine the concept of the summer album or, at the very least, the genre of synthpop. It's Cut Copy without the light and shadow or the Human League without the nuance. This summer, wherever you go, whatever you do, Van She will be right there waiting for you. Just know, like most summer flings, you might forget about them come Labor Day.

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