by Chris Familton
Expectations of another album of Donny Benét’s earnest synthetic funk pop weren’t high given that his debut was in such a specific and narrow style. Surprisingly and thankfully those concerns have been comprehensively allayed on Electric Love.
This is an album that takes the template of Don’t Hold Back and stretches it, bends it and reconfigures it into refreshingly exuberant shapes. The tools are still the same – drum machines and analog synthesizers – but this time round they sound less karaoke and more like lost transmissions from Italian dance-floors and American high school dances in the 1980s. Benet has stretched out the songs and concentrated more on the instrumentation, though not at the expense of his lascivious vocals. These feel like 80s remixes where the artist or in most cases the remixer had the freedom to indulge in rhythms and experiments with the technology of the time. On top of the extended sections of songs (only one comes in under five minutes) like You Will Make It In LA there are some manic saxophone solos that sound like The Pointer Sisters and Kenny G jamming with Suicide.
Vocally, Benét continues his dissection of all things love and lust with suggestive song titles like Gimme Your Heat, Treat Yourself and All 4 You. When he does come across a lyrical hook he works it well, as on Julia which adds new life to a name synonymous with the Prime Minister.
Benét proves there is still life left in his exploration of the naive technology of the 1980s and by wisely allowing the focus to shift from his persona to the instruments he has produced a surprisingly infectious and endearing album of electro pop music.
Electric Love is out now on Rice is Nice
this review was first published in Drum Media