Holy Ghost! loves the ’80s, in that I Love the ’80s sort of way. This means they love the sound of chintzy keyboards, dead-eyed harmonies, and cheesy-to-the-point-of-near-Dadaism lyrics. They’re especially fond of bad movie soundtracks from the ’80s, and they show it on their sophomore effort, Dynamics, by making every song sound like the non-hits off those albums: “Dumb Disco Ideas” could play in the background as Kim Cattrall tries on outfits in Mannequin; “Okay” is like intro credits music for a romantic comedy starring Corey Haim; “It Must Be the Weather” could easily score Axel Foley as he stares pensively at the ocean in a lousy Beverly Hills Cop sequel; “Dance a Little Closer” is a long-lost and rightly ignored B-side to “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” The album’s one passably listenable song, “Don’t Look Down,” which at least manages to pick up the pace, sounds like generic prom music from Some Kind of Wonderful. Even the name of the album seems to be actively inviting criticism, because if there’s one thing this colorless, indistinguishable mash isn’t, it’s dynamic. If this irony—and the entire album as a whole—is supposed to be a joke, it’s a long, pointless joke with no punchline as told by the most grotesquely smug asshole you’ve ever met at a party. It’s the sound of no ideas, no passion, and no effort being funded by a man (James Murphy) whose label (DFA Records) seems intent on squandering every last bit of the massive goodwill his former band, LCD Soundsystem, has engendered.
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: