Album Review: “Dreamcar” is a fun, yet predictable love letter to the 80s

Dreamcar’s self-titled debut is a love letter to the 80s. Every song is brimming with a New Wave swing making you think of big pop albums of the era. Opening track “After I Confessed” sounds it belongs on Duran Duran’s Rio. The song is upbeat and infectious with its gripping synth beats and Havok’s mellow vocals. It’s a gripping opener setting up what to expect for the rest of the album.

It’s hard not to like lead single “Kill for Candy.” It has a strong hook that’s fun to sing and equally fun music you can’t help but move along to. Similar to most of the songs on the LP, this one sounds like a tamer version of Havok’s electronic outfit Blaqk Audio. Lots of synth dance beats, but with less bleak lyrics.

“On the Charts” stands out for its weird, yet charming style. The rousing music keeps the 80s theme going, but Havok switches to a spoken word/rap style that catches you off guard. His flirty delivery does grow on you turning the song into a playful and somewhat sexy tune. “Show Me Mercy” is one of the more mellow tunes on the record, but never loses its 80s charm. With the moody music, it sounds like a nod to The Cure and Depeche Mode with a bit of Power Station thrown in once the sax solo hits.

The one thing the LP has going for it are the stellar hooks on just about every song. While the music on songs like, “Born to Lie,” “All of the Dead Girls Love Me,” and “The Assailant” is the same bouncy 80s tone, the hooks for each are memorable, catchy, and fun. Most of the time they’re the only thing you’ll remember about the song.

Songs like “Do Nothing” and “Ever Lonely” follow this same 80s formula. While it’s fun, it does start to get stale after a while. The album starts to get a bit forgettable around “The Preferred.” None of these songs are outright bad, but they have the same mindless catchy beats and 80s feel as all the other tracks. They’re still fun, just not as interesting. You get the point of the album after the first few tracks.

Dreamcar doesn’t do anything that we haven’t heard before, but at least Havok and crew know how to have fun with it. The songs are upbeat, energetic, and a loving homage to 80s New Wave and synth. If you’re looking for an album with substance, this probably isn’t for you. But if you want something to sing, dance, and just have a good time with, then check it out.

Grab a copy here.

Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, The Crypt 1331, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Reality-Comics. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Marilyn Manson, and Green Day.

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