Posted November 29, 2016 by in Dance pop



4.5/ 5


Genre: , ,
Producer: , , , ,
Genre: Dance-pop, pop, disco
Producer: Albin Nedler, Ilya, Mattman & Robin, Kristoffer Fogelmark, Justin Tranter, OzGo
Label: Republic
Format: Digital download, compact disc, streaming
Time: 49:01
Release Date: 18 November 2016
Spin This: "Cake By the Ocean," "Toothbrush," "Body Moves," "DNCE," "Pay My Rent"


Virtually a dance-pop masterpiece, filled with infectious funk, neo-disco and enough pop magic to stay on radio for the next three years


A little too long and overly fast paced, but hey — these are whiny complaints from possibly someone looking for variety

Today’s gonna be a good day: DNCE’s debut record is a stellar beginning

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Today’s gonna be a good day: DNCE’s debut record is a stellar beginning

dnce-01Their silly onstage antics and rebellious punk spirit almost makes it hard to take these guys seriously. But like Gaga in the early days, it’s all a diversion. Real talent lies beneath the earthly vessels of DNCE, the four-piece band fronted by former Jonas bro Joe Jonas. The others have had some mild interaction with the Jonas Brothers in the past: guitarist JinJoo Lee toured with them; drummer Jack Lawless were roomies with Joe and played for the sibling band in 2007; bassist Cole Whittle comes from another band, Semi Precious Weapons. Originally It was hard to really judge these wild cats from a mere EP, if they had the guts to put out a full album with enough magnetism to not label them a fluke. “Cake By the Ocean,” produced by in-demand duo Mattman & Robin, caught us all by surprise, winning old school hearts with Chic disco and sexy summer-ready lyrics. We wanted more of that; anything else would be highway robbery.

And that’s probably why DNCE did what was right by multiplying such grooves on their self-titled offering. Aboard there are just as many competitive singles cut in the same spirit of “Cake By the Ocean,” some are actually better. The opening title track, possibly the group’s self-named anthem, is probably the mightiest of them all. It inserts light humor about their “a” missing grammar inside an intoxicating rhythmic groove seasoned with the best neo-disco flavor and pretty Prince funk. “Body Moves,” slower in contrast, feels like the perfect follow-up to “Cake.” It’s sexy, sleek and young, all smart ingredients for DNCE’s transcendent jams. There’s also “Toothbrush,” which sounds like Maroon 5 playground fun, accented even more with Jonas’s light falsetto on the silly chorus. “Doctor Who” does the same, probing the cool rock-funk of Maroon 5’s Hands All Over era, but they perfected it with sleeker grooves, airy synths and a boisterous crowd sing-a-long (“Call the doc/Said you gonna call the doc”).

The first half is gloriously stellar, already playing like a “greatest hits” compilation, but they keep up much of the superior talent on the other half while also opening wide their musical imaginations. Silly and unapologetically juvenile, the Ilya-produced “Pay My Rent” sounds like the hit that escaped Justin Timberlake and sounds like the biggest competition to “Cake.” On “Blown,” they successfully blend ’60’s rock ‘n roll a la Ray Manzarek organ with moments of hip-hop, all harnessed by Kent Jones‘ cameo rap and Jonas’s careful ad-lib of “I Can Freak It.” Fast forward to the breezy “Zoom” and you can hear the verses are recorded with lo-fi distortion across the LCD Soundsystem-esque disco beats. And there’s “Naked,” a song that sweats with Eurodisco ecstasy and Jamarioquai passion. Some may suggest the Bieber-influenced ballad “Almost” (think “Love Yourself”) and the optimistic jingle “Good Day” aren’t the brightest songs in the bunch, acting as down-time album filler, but they are still well manicured, ringing with strong and catchy pop lyricism.

There’s hardly a gripe here, even if your an old fart that doesn’t like kid pop or anything written in the spirit of teen spirit. DNCE is flashy dance-pop, fourteen tracks fueled with clever party anthems and sprinkled with two acoustic-leaning ballads. This is the career rewrite Joe Jonas has been earnestly waiting for, although 2012’s Fastlife wasn’t insidious, just wrathfully overlooked. But in all honesty, it’s the best any of his brothers have ever produced on their own. Luckily, Joe — who contributes songwriting on virtually every song assembled — is surrounded by four rowdy, talented individuals who are committed to effective teamwork and bad-ass funky disco. Together, with the top-tier contributions from hit producers (Ilya, Mattman & Robin, OzGo), this collective have supervised one of the best albums of the year. It may be too premature to give them such accolades, but DNCE is the ultimate party record of the year — a feat that doesn’t come easily on the first record for bands of any kind.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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