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Kavinsky - Outrun (Review)

Kavinsky, OutRun

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

HAVING shot to prominence off the back of his inclusion on the Drive soundtrack, Kavinsky has now been able to bring his already cool reputation closer to the mainstream.

Now, with the release of new album Outrun, he can really indulge his passion for the cinematic and the synthesizer based.

Nightcall, the Drive track, remains the pick of the bunch and anyone who has seen and marvelled at the Ryan Gosling-Nicolas Winding Refn film will instantly recognise it.

The track is drenched in a neon sound, employs vocoder laced vocals as well as seductive female ones (from Lovefoxx), has a dream-like quality about it and something both spacey and filmic, retro and futuristic. It’s a mesmerising listen, especially when replayed in your mind against the context of scenes from that film.

Elsewhere, however, the album struggles to live up to that high despite delivering some good moments.

Perhaps it’s because you can have too much of a good thing, perhaps it’s because Kavinsky needs a little self-regulation, or perhaps it’s the lack of diversity and the fact that a lot of concept albums struggle by virtue of being tied to a format.

Here, we have an imagined tale about a man and a car who become fused as one, sort of a Knight Rider meets Tron backdrop that has its own introduction piece and endgame.

But it makes for a somewhat obscure listen that sometimes feels a little too mired in ’80s values.

Of the tracks that do stand out, Blizzard has a very definite Daft Punk vibe attached, Odd Look has some of the crispest synths on the LP and Suburbia benefits from mixing in some hip hop elements courtesy of a guest vocal from Havoc.

Grand Canyon, meanwhile, unfolds on an epic scale and really ought to have been the finale.

But overall, this is an album that boasts more curiosity value than overall satisfaction, one or two really cool moments aside.

Download picks: Nightcall, Grand Canyon, Suburbia, Blizzard

Track listing:

  1. Prelude
  2. Blizzard
  3. Protovision
  4. Odd Look
  5. Rampage
  6. Suburbia
  7. Testarossa Autodrive
  8. Nightcall
  9. Deadcruiser
  10. Grand Canyon
  11. First Blood
  12. Roadgame
  13. Endless