This is Gary Flanagan’s third album, but his first for ‘Cohaagen Music’. ‘Future Fashion’ features six re-recorded tracks taken from Gary’s first and second albums – ‘ Anthems For The Young At Heart’ & ‘Another Coin In The Daydream Machine’ combined with four new tracks, three of them co-wrote with Ganymede who have also produced the album while David Friede has also added a Fr/Action remix of ‘Metro Boulot Dodo’ while like wise Simulator’s Ross W Beall has added a remix of ‘Nightclub’.
Those of you who are unfamiliar with both Gary Flanagan and his previous releases can expect ‘old-school Electropop’ produced mainly on analogue synthesisers with the clear intention of re-capturing the sound and style of 1981. Gary will I’m sure be the first to admit he’s no Dave Gahan or Andy Bell when it comes to signing, but his vocals do fit in perfectly with his brand of ‘retro Electro Pop’.
Over all this is an excellent album with some great tracks, especially the stronger and more up-tempo tracks like ‘We Have The Dance Floor To Ourselves’, ‘Summertime’ & ‘All We Are’ and the bright and bouncy opening track ‘Nightclub’. All do both ‘Despite All Our Worries’ & ‘Every Friday Night’ both seem to be lighter and thinner than their original versions, both are still excellent tracks with ‘Despite All Our Worries’ the stronger of the two tracks, a track that swings along nicely while the best of the four new tracks (one of which is actually an old track ‘Super-8’) is the Ganymede co-written ‘Dancing To A Modern Beat’, an excellent mid-paced track with a great combination of bass, percussion and analogue synth work while the darker ‘Super-8’ is another excellent track with some great analogue sounds.
One of the more surprising tracks on the album is ‘Metro Boulot Dodo’, one of the three co-written tracks with Ganymede. The track itself features a rap in French, musically this mid-paced track is excellent, but for me I don’t like any form of rap and it’s no different with this track, no matter how many times I listen to it. No doubt it will gain some interest and attention in various clubs. Like wise ‘French In Action’ is another Ganymede co-written track with French vocals, on this track the vocals are spoken and placed more in the background of the song itself, this mid-paced track with some good synth riffs does require a number of listens before it begins to work.
Both remixes are excellent and thankfully remain faithful to their original versions, unlike so many remixes in this day and age. Fr/Action add their Synth Pop led Future Pop to ‘Metro Boulot Dodo’ giving the track itself the expected (and slightly) harder edge seen on Fr/Action’s recent debut album ‘Crimes Of The Future’ while in a similar position Simulator also add their own edge to ‘Nightclub, a darker edge with some occasional distortion on the vocals and some excellent sweeping synth riffs. Once again this musical style was recently featured on Simulator’s debut album ‘Enter The Unknown’.
Is it pleasing to see Gary get the chance to ‘step up’ and release an album like ‘Future Fashion’ and full praise to Ganymede for giving both Gary that opportunity and for also adding their own edge to the album including their production skills. For those of you with a preference for pure Electro Pop firmly influenced by the early-80s, then do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this excellent album and continue your support for this emerging Synth Pop label.
Artist Link: http://www.garyflanagan.ca