Sound: It was 1989, when the last full length Wang Chung album was released. Twenty one years later and two compilation albums on the rack, Wang Chung has successfully made the transfer back to the new world by having the album released online, but they kept their old style and brought that back to the new world.
Wang Chung started in the 80's as a British new wave band. Although never attaining mega fame, their songs were featured as dance songs in the late 80's. Nick Feldman and Jack Hues were the original creative minds behind Wang Chung, and they are now back together to create new music. The Rent Free EP/Abducted by the 80's highlights four older hits: Dance Hall Days, Everybody Have Fun Tonight, Lets Go, and To Live And Die in L.A., with three brand new tracks: Rent Free, Stargazing, Abducted By The 80s, and London Orbital. All the songs represent the ambient sound Wang Chung brings to the table. By ambience I mean it is like a soundtrack to your life, it has that feeling that the music is just there, supporting your life with a soundtrack to everything you do. Listening to the band for a long time brings that atmospheric vibe, where the music seems to not stand out anymore, and it is just there, peaceful, alive, and inside the minds of the listeners for a couple days. The mixing and enhancement adds more depth to the songs, really improving upon the muddy mixing of the 80's, which somehow makes it sound even more like a band straight out of the eighties.
The keyboards are crisp and resonant, each part of the drum-run is precise and dominant, and the vocals are echoed to perfection, which some bands overuse the echo and destroy good music, while some underuse it. Wang Chung uses the echo to give the album a great New Wave/Pop sound. From the mellow London Orbital, which provides that perfect ambience to your soundtrack, to the dance-beat driven Dance Hall Days, which makes dancing fun by adding slick beats with fun to listen to lyrics this album has a full punch of music. // 9
Lyrics: Jack Hues does the vocals for the album, and he has quite the harmonious voice. Every track has its fair share of higher vocals and lower vocals, many of the time the two parts are mixed together to create an absolutely beautiful mix of tones. The voice is almost too precious. The lyrics resemble more natural occurrences in life, such as looking up at the starts in Stargazing, or the party feel heard in Everybody Have Fun Tonight. // 8
Overall Impression: Being abducted by the 80's was exactly what I experience while listening to this album. The sound is purely ambient, the vocals are executed to perfection, and the enhanced mixing for such an elaborate style is 80 times better than the 80's technology could ever achieve. // 8
- Sean Michael Gonzalez (c) 2010