Dave Monks

All Signs Point To Yes

BY Peter SanfilippoPublished Jun 12, 2015

If there is one thing Dave Monks' years in Tokyo Police Club have made apparent, it's that he has a keen aptitude for writing lyrics. From earnest and nostalgic storytelling to his oft-innocent imagery, he writes lyrics that are relatable, and that link the records he's worked on together, regardless of shifts in musical style and production. This might have made writing a solo record with a unique sense of identity especially difficult.
To counter this, Monks left his bass with Tokyo Police Club and set his sights on rootsy seas filled with strings, muted horns and pianos. It's the tried and true formula for a pop frontman-gone-solo record, and it works well here, suiting his lyrics and themes, which are inspired by his move from Toronto to Brooklyn. It's a record about love, most evidently on the lighthearted opener "Vegas" and the undeniably infectious number "The Rules," on which the instrumentation is appropriately whimsical and joyous. Each song has charm and brightness, and even when it takes an introspective turn on "Miss You" and "Gasoline," All Signs Point To Yes always has a splash of optimism.
It may not sound like Tokyo Police Club, but because of Monks' distinct lyrical style, it still feels like Tokyo Police Club. All Signs Point To Yes takes steps in a new direction, but in the same shoes, complementing his previous work rather than distancing itself from it. All Signs Point To Yes doesn't challenge or surprise, but it expresses what it feels like to be excited and hopeful; despite Monks' grim mug on the cover, this record has plenty of smiles to go around.
(Dine Alone)

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