|This Todd Rundgren revival has been proving to be quite popular. Beginning with Neon Indian's ”Deadbeat Summer”, which famously sampled Rundgren's classic “Izzat Love” and now continuing with Brothertiger's Golden Years, the nostalgic pop movement is bringing only joy to these ears. Even the title calls back to a bygone age, of sublime 1980s afternoons and birthday parties at arcades. It will be released on Mush Records on March 27, placing it at the perfect time for Golden Years to receive heavy rotation in the spring and summer months.|
If all this is beginning to sound problematically familiar, then this might not be the album for you. Golden Years is unabashedly born out of Hipster Runoff's ubiquitous “chillwave” movement. Although it has a personality and energy of its own, it still contains all the trappings of its containing genre. If and when chillwave passes out of fashion, Golden Years might be left in the dust, as a debut work it doesn't achieve quite as much as it could. This is clearly the product of someone who cares about their creation, and it is too bad that an individual aesthetic has been seemingly thrown over in favor of a popular movement.
Having said that, Golden Years has an infectious feeling of joy and energy flowing through it. Every song contributes to a general feeling of warmth and positivity. Although there is nothing revelatory about this listening experience, it is doubtful that at this point listeners won't find something to enjoy about it.
Album highlight “Reach It All” pops along to a snappy pop beat not unlike The Moody Blues's late career highlight “Your Wildest Dreams.” Although the influence is pretty clear in Brothertiger's vocal cadence and bouncy bassline, the melody on the song might be the album's most memorable. “Reach It All” pulses along with a lightly melancholy but still nostalgic bubblegummy synth, with the album's ever-present Panda Bear-esque background vocals telling the listener that “The world is yours.”
It isn't really a question of whether or not the album is enjoyable or not. It is perfectly listenable, and it doubtless will receive much attention in the summertime. Unfortunately, it also is hard to say that Golden Years exists as much more than a product of its time. - In Your Speakers