Published Oct 23, 2018It's difficult to improve on perfection which, following 2015's stellar Yesterday's Tomorrow, was the task at hand for Brooklyn's Phony Ppl. Like the title implies, their latest offering, Mō'zā-ik, is a collection of gems that each shine brilliantly on their own, but create a masterpiece when combined.
The group's sugary melodies, punctuated by lead vocalist Elbee Thrie's endearingly uncomplicated delivery, are bright enough to inject even sombre subject matter with bursts of colour.
"Way Too Far." and "somethinG about your love.," for instance, are sunny numbers that turn toxic relationships to soda: bad for you, but still crisp, sweet and bubbly. "The Colours." is delightfully off-kilter, forcing the listener to get comfortable with tension (a metaphor for trying times). And, cringeworthy respectability politics aside, "Move Her Mind." is coated in a vintage gloss that recalls the doe-eyed innocence of '80s pop.
"On everythinG iii love.," the album's straightforward lament on racism and violence, is an obvious standout: refreshingly free of clutter and impactful in its simplicity.
Thoughtful and creative, Mō'zā-ik blossoms with each listen. This album is definitely worth the years it took to deliver. (300)