Thursday, July 18, 2013

MACHINATIONS-Uptown (1988)


I decided to drive a little 'uptown' in my 80's flashback, but rather than hanging out with Billy Joel to meet an uptown girl, it's more like I went to the Land Down Under to hang out with a bunch of downtown guys. They would be the Sydney, Australia-based synth-pop group that calls itself MACHINATIONS. The name might cause you to think they're just another one of the many weird groups to come out of the 80's, but I guarantee that the 80's music lovers out there will become addicted to them just as I have in the short amount of time that I've gotten hip to their music! And what's causing the addiction this time? Everything! The vocals of lead singer Fred Loneragan and the backup singer Naomi Star, the catchy 80's dance beats, and the best thing of all—the jazzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!! And yes, the multiple Z's and exclamation points were necessary! On just about every song, I felt like I was being personally treated to a dazzling jazz piece of some sort, whether it was the sexy saxophone jazzing up "Heartache", the trumpet chiming in on "Do To You", or the dizzying jazz frenzy that made my head spin all throughout "I Can't Control Myself" and the exceptionally dancey mega-thriller, "Three Ways", which is an absolute JAM!!!! Again, the capitalization, the bold-face and the quadruple exclamation points are all necessary! And whoever's blowing on the saxophone on that one totally deserves a curtain call all by him or herself! Though from the very moment I tuned in to the opener, "Intimacy", I knew that nothing but good times were ahead, and they surely don't stop at any point along this drive uptown: "Carpet At Daylight", the melodic sweetness of "Give It Up", "Cars & Planes"—you'll be more than happy taking either one of these songs along for a joyride! Lyrically, my favorite jam is "Do It To Me". At first, the words make it seems like you're listening to a repeat of "Do To You", but once you start hearing Fred sing about legs and lips and hips—that little whistle he makes is a nice touch—you quickly realize he's painting a picture of a fantasy that's steamier than anything you heard on the album's third track:

1. Intimacy
2. Heartache
3. Do To You
4. Carpet At Daylight
5. Give It Up
6. I Can't Control Myself
7. Uptown
8. Three Ways
9. Cars & Planes
10. Do It To Me
11. Normal

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