Babylove & The Van Dangos

On My Life

Written by: PP on 01/01/2016 17:15:37

A couple of years have passed since the previous Babylove & The Van Dangos album, "Let It Come, Let It Go", a great piece of Copenhagen ska/reggae in international class that was widely acclaimed by media and fans alike, at least to an extent that a ska album can be these days anyway. You know, ska is dead and all that bollocks. Babylove are having none of that on their new album "On My Life" though, delivering another ten tracks of their signature style relaxed and chilled out ska/reggae that draws parallels to The Slackers and The Aggrolites to name but a few international names. They do this via tropical instrumentation suitable for palm tree scenery that's as quintessential ska/reggae as it comes. Contrary to many of their punkier peers, the instrumentation and the vocal approach here is calmer, lighter and laid back, but it is ammo for the argument that not all music needs to be fast or edgy to be solid throughout. That much is proven during "On My Life".

"I used to listen to The Specials singing about the rat race", the Babylove vocalist sings on opener "Another Face", setting the tone of the album straight away. These are songs about his life, his daughter, his job, and the lyrics are delivered in an honesty-driven and charming manner with plenty of catchy melodies in between. "12 Steps Forward", for instance, is one of the most memorable tunes I've heard all year and is sure to get bodies moving on the dancefloor. It's catchy, upbeat and funky without having a rushed tempo; a classic ska piece with an infectious chorus melody that's international class. "Slow Life" is another highlight on the record with its insightful lyrics about only wanting a slower lifestyle centered around a good job, wife and a daughter, but more than that, it is maddeningly catchy despite being a slower track.

Elsewhere, the expression is driven by sexy, jazz-laden saxophone passages, and a vivid horn section that gives the songs a nice touch. "Coming To America" and "Long Way Home" are great examples. "She's The Boss", on the other hand, features an unhurried, worry-free vibe and plenty of danceable grooves that should go down well at live shows. And really, that's how "On My Life" is best characterized as - worry-free. The soundscape is simply so laid back and relaxing that any work or personal life-related stresses are easily forgotten as you submerge yourself into the smooth ska/reggae tunes and their promise of a sunnier future. As such, "On My Life" fulfills the expectations we've come to have over Babylove records: they are the best ska band in Denmark after all these years, and this record proves it once again.


Download: Another Face, 12 Steps Forward, Slow Life
For the fans of: Leo And The Lineup, The Aggrolites, The Slackers, The Specials
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.09.2015

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