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Now Hear This: Eight Days Across America - Grapefruit Sound Lab

Rating: ****

I didn’t used to listen to a lot of dance music. I DANCED to a lot of dance music, but it was never something I would . Dance music seemed functional to me…if it had the right number of beats per minute and I could move my somewhat rhythmically challenged body to it, that’s all it was supposed to do.

I don’t dance as much these days, but I listen to quite a bit of dance music. When I’m in the right (legally available in 11 states now) headspace, I love to trip on some EDM. I like trance, hip-hop, acid jazz. I smoke a lot of pot. What was I talking about?

Watch video for "The Flavors of Tears" on YouTube below:

Oh, that’s right—the new album from the producer/composers/DJ who calls himself Grapefruit Sound Lab. This is great stuff—the trancey grooves are spot on, but in addition, the lyrics actually have some depth!

Check the single off the record, “Dum Dum Gun.” GSL does some very cool, different things with texture on this outing, using a striking combination of chamber-like strings, military drum rolls, and the almost childlike voice of guest vocalist Sarah Naughtone.

Try the opening track, “A Song About Freedom,” for something that evolves into about six different songs, including a fierce rap. And the third track, “Don’t Fall For It,” is like an homage to that steamy intersection of soul and dance floor beats. Think Chic, or anything featuring the transcendent bass playing of Nile Rodgers.

There’s Gregorian chant at the beginning of “Ave Maria,” and at the complete opposite end of the desire chart, there’s the passion of “Love Cards.” Not counting the obligatory remixes, GSL brings us eight original tracks, and most of those slap hard.

Not all producers realize that you can keep the BPM consistent and still weave some variety into the mix. Despite their similarities, almost every song on the album takes you to a different (if adjacent) place. About the only exception would be the fairly generic sounding, “The Flavors of Tears,”which doesn’t have much of a hook, and lyrically, well, it’s…”something ‘bout the flavor of tears. The flavor of tears. It’s a natural flavor…”

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