Cover image for Critical hit [compact disc] / Yukon Blonde.
Title:
Critical hit [compact disc] / Yukon Blonde.
Publication Information:
Toronto, ON : Dine Alone Records, [2018]

â„—2018
Physical Description:
1 audio disc : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Title from container.

Compact disc.
Contents:
Too close to love -- Love the way you are -- Emotional blackmail -- Cry -- Hardly even there -- Feeling digital -- Summer in July -- Crazy -- The bluffs -- Painting on a smile -- Dear Nancy -- This is Spain -- Ritual off the docks.
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GEN YUK Music CD Adult Music CD
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Summary

Summary

Though she also played on 2015's On Blonde, Yukon Blonde's fourth LP, Critical Hit, is the first with keyboardist Rebecca Grey as an official fifth member. That speaks to the band's commitment here to the prior album's vibrant synth pop. Though the band's coexisting indie rock swagger is tempered somewhat on Critical Hit by lyrics about breaking up, missed connections, and unrequited love, dance-rock grooves, melodic sweetness, and a playful sparkle prevail. Written partly in Spain while bandleader Jeffrey Innes stayed on alone in Madrid following a European tour, his subsequent relationship, breakup, return home to Vancouver, and move across the Salish Sea to Galiano Island all inform the hourlong, 13-track set list. Titles like "Emotional Blackmail" and "Hardly Even There" accurately foreshadow frustration and heartbreak, while "Crazy" has the singer taking some of the responsibility with its catchy chorus of "I'm not crazy about you, I'm just crazy." The song's humming synths, bright keyboard melody, and funky bass slides keep things light even before the group singing in the chorus. Elsewhere, the post-punky dance tune "Feeling Digital" recounts changes in technology as it celebrates the album's overarching theme of dating in the phone-app era. "Summer in July" offers straight-up new wave revivalism, and while other tracks dabble in yearning soul, British punk, and disco, they still bask in early-'80s synth inspirations. That includes part of the closing track, "Ritual Off the Docks," a nine-minute outlier that contains over three minutes of wordless, Beach Boys-style harmonies. With mixing by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Belle and Sebastian, the Kooks), Critical Hit delivers another reliable set of groovy, hooky tunes from Yukon Blonde, well suited for the summer despite its relationship angst. ~ Marcy Donelson