Dance Pop Redux
As an artist that was most well-known for intriguing remixes of indie and mainstream hits, Penguin Prison’s head honcho Chris Glover has never been looking to reinvent the wheel. Remixes of tracks such as Darren Hayes’ “Talk Talk Talk” and “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons took the existing songs’ material and compounded on their strengths; with the 11 songs on Lost in New York, Glover replicates this technique by blending dance, indie, and electro source material into catchy but slightly derivative musical nuggets.
When listening to Lost in New York, there is an overwhelming sense of “I’ve heard this before.” It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about each song that gives a sense of melodic déjà vu, but it is prevalent in each and every track. From the mid-nineties lite-funk bounce of “Show Me the Way” and “Never Gets Old” to the mid-00’s indie rock influence on “Calling Out” and “Laughing at the Floor,” Penguin Prison attempt to remix several genres throughout the album.
Perhaps this is the beauty of what Penguin Prison is attempting to accomplish – there is no need to blaze new trails, just attempts at perfecting strains of pop music. While some moments on Lost in New York fall flat, tracks like the Tycho-esque “Caught in a Daze” buoy the album. “Calling Out” is another of these quality pop tracks, with many moments that recall The Go! Team’s blissful twee-pop masterpiece, Thunder, Lightning, Strike. All of the elements for success are there for the Penguin Prison track – there are the fast-paced hand claps, peppy cheerleader chants, and a blipping keyboard riff that make an imprint on the listener’s memory.
With a release date that is just in time for the start of summer, Lost in New York should be part of some of the season’s most memorable party playlists. There are few completely forgettable moments on the album, and several songs will be fitting party jams in dance clubs and summer festivals across the country.