Published Apr 16, 2019Like a hidden psychedelic gem found in a crate of old records, Michael Collins' second album as Drugdealer is a blast of modern pop and classic psychedelia. Raw Honey is a tribute to the past, capturing sounds from previous eras and bringing them to centre stage with vigour and dedication.
While Collins' previous album, The End of Comedy, combined elements of modern pop jangles with a lo-fi twist, Raw Honey takes a step forward, omitting its lo-fi roots in favour of a more classic pop and psych rock approach. "Honey," featuring vocals from frequent collaborator Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood), is a smooth composition of psychedelic sounds and haunting vocals. "Fools" is groovy and energetic; harmonies resound throughout the arrangement, while accompanying guitar and saxophone capture the album's nostalgic influences.
Raw Honey is more polished and refined than its predecessor, though its sound is less distinct; while The End of Comedy was grittier and more lo-fi, it had more personal touch and modern influence than Collins' latest release. Raw Honey, with its dynamic harmonies and engaging instrumental compositions, depends a lot on the sounds of the past. Bands like Steely Dan, the Beatles, the Carpenters and the Zombies are a few notable influences, and in certain instances, the similarities are too obvious to move past.
Nevertheless, Raw Honey is a seductive and catchy pop record bearing its '60s rock influence openly and proudly. An homage to the past, Raw Honey is nostalgic, romantic, and joyful. (Mexican Summer)