The remarkable second full-length release by this New York City duo displays a wicked instinct for irresistible melodies and sparkling arrangements. Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser cannily re-create styles such as disco, synth pop and even easy listening in the context of contemporary dance music.
Songs such as "Okay," "Changing of the Guard" and "Bridge and Tunnel" combine jittery dance beats, electronics and elegant melodic lines, calling to mind the pioneering electronic pop of such acts as OMD and Depeche Mode. Other tracks, such as the mutated funk of "Dance a Little Closer," recall the union of new wave and disco that emerged in New York in the early 1980s, spearheaded by Ze Records.
With "It Must Be the Weather," a brew of electronica and soft rock, the guys must've been inspired by the guest appearance by yacht rock godfather Michael McDonald on their debut album, injecting ultra-smooth melody into a bleeping EDM environment. The album's highlight is the 8-minute masterpiece "Dumb Disco Ideas," a driving funk-rocker, generously adorned with cowbell as well as other percussions, that owes equal debts to Talking Heads, Prince, Chic, Grace Jones, New Order and Beck's now-classic Midnite Vultures.
Like Daft Punk's brilliant Random Access Memories—which it may rival as dance-pop album of the year —Dynamics is one of those records that allows rock fans to no longer feel embarrassed about loving dance music.
Holy Ghost! plays Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Midnight Magic opens the show at 8 p.m. Tickets: $20. All ages admitted. 622-8848.