Cool Cool Universe
Not since â€šÃ„ÃºAnother One Bites the Dustâ€šÃ„Ã¹ has the â€šÃ„Ãº80â€šÃ„Ã´s clapâ€šÃ„Ã¹ been more apparent and integral to the song catalogue of an artist, but IMA Robotâ€šÃ„Ã´s latest release, Monument to the Masses, couldnâ€šÃ„Ã´t have a more 80â€šÃ„Ã´s new wave sound than if it were actually recorded in 1982.Continuing in the fashion of their self-titled debut, IMA Robot has effectively built upon a delightfully irreverent amalgam of new wave, electronic punk and hip-hop. As with its boisterous predecessor, Monument to the Masses is driven by quirky beats and synths seemingly straight off a cheesy Brat Pack soundtrack. Adding to this aesthetic is singer Alex Ebert, who channels Danny Elfmanâ€šÃ„Ã´s Oingo Boingo days with his frenetic, screechy voice that lends the music its flamboyant trademark sound.
Opening song â€šÃ„ÃºDisconnectâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is the best example of the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s ability to blend the retro kitsch with a mod-electro sound. â€šÃ„ÃºCreeps Me Out,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Monumentâ€šÃ„Ã´s first single, and â€šÃ„ÃºThe Beatâ€šÃ„Ã¹ continue in this dance party fashion. â€šÃ„ÃºCool Cool Universeâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºStick it to the Manâ€šÃ„Ã¹ break slightly from this mold with pessimistic lyrics mixed with 90â€šÃ„Ã´s bubblegum rap. Such is evident in the opening lines of â€šÃ„ÃºCool Cool Universeâ€šÃ„Ã¹ when Ebert raps, â€šÃ„ÃºEvery time they bomb a baby I go insane / Breathe it off but donâ€šÃ„Ã´t feel the pain/Start thinkinâ€šÃ„Ã´ to start drinkinâ€šÃ„Ã´/Numb yourself to kill the brain.â€šÃ„Ã¹ Finally, â€šÃ„ÃºChip Off the Old Blockâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºLovers in Captivityâ€šÃ„Ã¹ are valid attempts at slower, more soulful ballads without losing their bouncy 80â€šÃ„Ã´s pop zeal.
As with any IMA Robot endeavor, Monument to the Masses is quirky, eclectic and fun with an unparalleled ability to appeal to multiple genres.