Don't Leave Me in the Dark

Vesuvio Solo

Atelier Ciseaux Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


It is no mystery that ‘80s-era sophisti-pop is making a comeback. As a young band, Montreal-based Vesuvio Solo seems to have wholeheartedly embraced this wave, first on their 2014 debut Avion and now on the follow up, Don’t Leave Me In The Dark. It is almost as if these guys have studied this genre of music, incorporating its key traits in a nearly textbook-like fashion: synthesizer dominated soft romantic pop music, embodying aspects of smooth jazz and soul, seductive sax solos and all. Not only that, but these guys even sound as if they were from the ‘80s from the music and singing style right down to the overall aesthetic of their songs.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There is no hint whatsoever of the band wanting to do a modern take on this New Wave-era romantic pop style of music – as opposed to, for example, the kind of similar but more popular group, Destroyer, with whom these guys have shared the stage. It is hard to believe Don’t Leave Me In The Dark is released in 2016 and not in 1986. The instrumental “Nimbus,” for instance, is so cheesy that it should not belong anywhere but as title music for an ‘80s sitcom. Songs like “Guardian” and “Tension” have the same awful cheesiness, and they resurrect creepy aspects of ‘80s music that should never ever be revisited.

What makes some of the tackiness on this album even worse is that the band takes their love of nostalgia a bit too far. The general sound of Don’t Leave Me In The Dark just about falls short of being terrible because of the audio, which sounds awkwardly hazy, almost like it is being played through a VHS tape.

The whole sophisti-pop style is almost a disaster if not accompanied by some seriously polished production values. This little detail is something that has been lacking in Vesuvio Solo’s music since their debut, and which sort of ruins the good songs that are in fact catchy, smooth, and sexy – of which there are actually quite a few on this disc: “Flakes,” “Night Drive,” “Mirror Held To Flower,” and the title track.

There is nothing wrong with the Vesuvio Solo’s zealousness towards their love of ‘80s nostalgia. In fact, their music could be pretty cool and sexy, if only they were much more graceful in accomplishing it.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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