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#albumoftheday / REVIEW: POMPLAMOOSE: BESIDES

If you’re one of the cool kids, chances are you’re already a fan of Pomplamoose and their deliciously quirky indie pop. For those of you not in the know, Pomplamoose is a duo consisting of real life couple Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn, who hail from California. Their name is the phonetic spelling of the French word pamplemousse, meaning grapefruit.

Even if you don’t recall ever hearing of Pomplamoose, you’ve probably seen one of their videos on Youtube, like most of the world. They’ve only had over 100,000 million views. (You’d think they were Taylor Swift or something.)

One of the main things Pomplamoose are known for is their covers. (You know how obsessed Youtube users are with cover songs.) In fact, over half of the songs they do are covers. But they always reinvent them somehow, which is probably even more difficult to do than it would be to just do more original songs.

Besides opens with “I’m the Shit,” an original song. It starts with an infectious drum beat and some subtle keyboards before Nataly begins singing, her voice falling somewhere between The Bird and The Bee’s Inara George and Feist; slightly quirky and super cute. It’s followed by a cover of James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good),” which they simply call “I Feel Good” like most people nowadays. It’s one of their rare covers that’s relatively faithful to the original, though they’ve stripped it down, added lovely keyboards, and slowed down the tempo a bit. To be honest, I don’t think it’s quite as catchy as the original, but it’s not like anybody on the planet could deliver it with the gusto of James Brown himself. Next up is “Come Together,” which they’ve turned all synthylicious, slightly funky and plenty danceable. They’ve also added an interpolation of “Hey Jude” at the end. I’m totally in love with this one, but then I’m totally in love with the album overall, too.

One song they’ve totally reinvented is Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” which I dare say I like as much as the original. It’s silky smooth and groovy. If Madonna would’ve made “Like a Prayer” when she made her first album then it probably would’ve sounded a lot like this. It reminds me of the way The Bird and The Bee did Hall and Oates classics on Interpreting the Masters Vol. 1. Speaking of Hall and Oates, they do “Walking on Sunshine” here it sounds like it would probably sound if Hall and Oates did it, save for the fact that it doesn’t have much in the way of guitar.

A couple of the tracks on hand are mash ups. The first is called “Stevie Wonder Herbie Hancock Mashup.” It’s essentially a stripped down version of Wonder’s “Superstition,” though it’s actually “Superstition” set over Herbie Hancock music, but I have no idea what Hancock song it is. The other mash up blends Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” with Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” Musically, it sounds like an original Pomplamoose song, but the vocals and melody are similar to the original songs. For the most part, it alternates between the choruses of both songs, though it also has some other bits, too. There’s even a small rap part from Minaj’s “Anaconda.”

Of the few other original songs, my favorite is “30 Rock,” a ridiculously catchy song that goes, “I don’t want to watch 30 Rock tonight / Too mad to have any fun / I’m not saying I want to break up / I just need a little time to cool down.” It’s highly infectious and easily one of the duos best songs to date.

If you’re allergic to cover songs then I’m sure Besides would annoy the hell out of you, but for those who enjoy them it’s one sweet and refreshing treat, like your favorite ice cream sundae on a warm summer day.

besides cover

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6sSZth40yZvENDHUssdW2u

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Written by

Paris365

An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.

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