I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME make bold moves on their first LP, as evident on every song.
Dallon Weekes, former bassist for Panic! at the disco (2009-2015) provides mad IQ to the recording process. for each song, he sings lead vocals, plays bass, and writes. throughout the album, he also adds things such as ukulele, and even some production chops.
the songwriting is visual, especially on tracks such as “from the gallows” and “lights go down”.
“leave me alone”, the very first track, is a funk-pop banger which feels infused with some dancefloor vibes.
“mad iq” is full of great hooks. it’s an enticing track that really goes.
“nobody likes the opening band” is a slow song where weekes’ vocals shine. it’s simple, lo-fi ish approach results in a surprisingly great song.
“new invention” is a production fest laden with engaging effects. the song puts the listener in a trance like state while their attention is diverted to weekes’ inspiring performance.
“from the gallows” is playfully morbid. the music is super relaxed, and it pokes fun at the harshness of the lyrics. the contrast between the sound and the words help the track remain vivid and engaging. it feels spacey, cheerful, and content.
“clusterhug” is completely accessible, and it’s easily one of my favorites off ‘RAZZMATAZZ’. “clusterhug” sounds warm and uplifting; it’s got a christmas party type vibe. the percusssion is grand, and the intro to the song sounds similar to m83’s ‘hurry up, we’re dreaming’ era.
“sugar pills” sounds like an alt rave. the vocal dynamics are on point. the production is stellar, and the song proves to be a well-thought out pop song.
“kiss goodnight” slows things down with a calming electro-synth and weekes’ prominent voice. the chorus’ are amazing moments of welcoming tenderness, until the mysterious qualities of the background become engulfing.
“lights go down” begins with dallon’s swagger and visceral depictions. dallon sounds as if he’s a ghost. his voice on this song is fading and electronic. the voice overs feel inclusive and dancey. all of this inevitably leads to an entertaining saxophone solo. i imagine this song to be taking place in a ballroom.
“need you here” is an excellent ode to family and belonging. weekes directs this song toward his daughter, as he emotionally tells of his need for her. this song feels like a 21 pilots song, with weekes’ voice sounding similar to alternative vocal stalwarts such as brandon urie or tyler joseph.
“need you here” feels minimalistic yet outreaching. the beginning section focuses mainly on the lyrics before the tune slowly scales and expands. there is a bittersweet interlude spoken by dallon’s daughter, before the song picks up and he erupts with a high note. this caps off one of the best performances on ‘RAZZMATAZZ’: the vocal showcase which follows that high note.
“door” is soothing. it seems there’s a harp which introduces the lyrics. while this track is short and sweet, it does not seem simple. dallon is the only credited producer and writer on this pragmatically written tune.
“razzmatazz” is a stylish album closer. the fact that the title track is also the album closer proves that this project has been heavily thought over. it’s got a funky vibe, and tim pagnotta’s production is crisp.
this closing track is a reasonable standout, as it jams together so many contrasting elements into one cohesive song. it contains the second major sax solo on the album. there are also risky backing harmonies that pay off.
by the end of “razzmatazz”, the tune becomes a musical jam between all the instruments: namely the saxophone and drums. the overall ending to this album, being a minute long jam session, is beautifully organized by talented producer tim pagnotta.
favorites: clusterhug, need you here, mad iq