A Look at the Polaris Long List: 40. Yukon Blonde - Tiger Talk
This was an interesting one. The songs were very down-the-middle and accessible in sound. Nothing really cool or cutting edge about it. Tiger Talk kicked off with some tracks that reminded me of all those knock-off ‘new wave’ songs that you’d hear in 80s era teen B-movies and then some tracks that reminded me of the post-new wave UK acts who followed that era like Big Country and Tears for Fears that became staples of early alternative radio stations like CFNY and K-ROCK. Speaking of radio stations it me or does the track, “Radio” sound like an unplugged variation on Devo’s “Whip It”?
I will give Yukon Blonde credit though: the songs were catchy, upbeat & fun sounding, the production pretty immaculate and, as someone who grew up on those sounds, I enjoyed hearing a new group use them in a fresh way that didn’t feel like a total pastiche (no gratuitous and slavish use of 80s style synthesizers, for example). By the end, the feel of the songs had become more contemporary but it still held together as a single body of work and a cohesive-sounding album. That being said though, you’d be hard-pressed to convince me this album is really the pinnacle of musical creativity (or artistic integrity, however I’m supposed to gauge that??) in Canada. Fun listen? Yes. Award winner? Not to my ears.
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