Album Review: The Infatuations = Chick Flick Soundtrack
July 9, 2014By Billy Delgado

There are The Temptations. The Foundations. The Four Seasons. The Emotions.The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And, then there are The Infatuations. Their first full-length album, Detroit Block Party, begins with...well...just picture yourself strolling through Downtown [City of your choice here] and you pass by this lounge/club where there's this band exciting the crowd with their nostalgic tunes. That’s the feeling I get from The Infatuations when listening to the first track, "Tonight we celebrate.”


Now on to "Livin' Here Without You.” For some reason, I picture Beverly Hills Cop Part 4 where Eddie Murphy is running down the streets of Detroit during this song. The tempo is very upbeat and could easily be the first song of a soundtrack to that or any modern romantic comedy. I liked the tom toms during the small break in the bridge. Lead vocalist Caleb Gutierrez doesn't strike me as a powerhouse voice but his vocal style matches the vintage sound his band mates and producers "DraLo" (Christian Draheim/Marco Lowe) provide. Halfway through listening to this album, I’m beginning to suspect my Chief Editor is funneling vintage artists/bands for me to critique since my last review was for an artist with a vintage sound.


And then "Back Again" plays.....and I did not rewind it back again. Next is "Harley Girl," which is an interesting title for a song. Is this a Harley Girl that has her own bike or a Harley Girl that is a girlfriend to a heavily tattooed biker named Max Stonebreaker or something? I did enjoy the musicianship of the bridge. There wasn't any mind-blowing guitar solo, just sweet grooves, licks and funky bass strums by The Wolf (no relation to The Edge). I can envision crowds dancing and singing along to this. The Infatuations do provide a lot of that, especially on "Dancin' on my knees” that remind you of Sly Stone and Parliament. And Caleb's "whooaaa's" were fun to listen to. I did rewind to hear the bridge three times.


Then all of a sudden, "Diamond Disco" plays El Mariachi strides into a Mexican saloon. The introduction sets me up for something wild. I don't like the title; I don't like any title with the word "Disco" unless it's Disco Inferno by The Trammps. So anyhoo, Desperado is about to crash through the windows, swing on a chandelier, shoot his guitar bazooka and rescue Salma Hayek but womp womp woooomp... the song turns into a Disco karaoke. I must admit, I felt a letdown after the dramatic intro. To be fair, it's not like The Infatuations didn't warn me; after all, the song IS called "Diamond Disco.” But with the guitar chord arrangement and organ, I was anticipating something in the vein of Santa Esmeralda's "Don't let me be misunderstood.” Or the Gypsy Kings meet Earth, Wind & Fire. No seriously!


I felt like the drums in "Yesterday Morning" should have remained a simple bass kick but I'm not complaining. The Isley Brothers would have paid for the rights to this song had The Infatuations wrote it in the ‘70s. Caleb's subtle vibrato is appreciated here. This song would be found in that same imaginary romantic comedy I mentioned earlier. If you’ve downloaded the song "Yesterday Morning,” play it and imagine this:


- Boy and girl go their separate ways

- They find out that life sucks without each other

- Boy returns to girl to apologize for something stupid he did

- Kiss kiss, make up, mushy chick flick stuff

- End credits.


The Infatuations manage to end with a big bang. "Down Jefferson" had me bobbing my head and resisting Hip Hop Sample Loop temptation. Assuming Christian Draheim was the one responsible for the riff, it's hot bro. Behind Caleb's voice, Draheim's riff and the synth pads were mixed in perfectly. Oooh man, and then they fade the song out by playing a break beat and the hot riff with heavy reverb in the background. The song does evoke a gritty urban feel reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield, an influence of theirs. You guys are just begging me to call your publisher to sample this, but I will respect your craft. Good job.


Save a few authentic gems that could garner some attention in a movie soundtrack, I felt like Detroit Block Party did suffer from the lack of a polished sound. Unless the sound was intentional, the whole album kept me at that Jazz club while strolling in Downtown [City of your choice here] when I would have preferred a tighter punch on the drums and overall sound. This was almost reflected on "Down Jefferson.” That could be due to the accompanying break beat behind Robert Myer's drumming. Note well: I am NOT including a song like "Livin' here without you" in this sentiment. And it's not an indictment on the drummer or anything that a sound engineer couldn't fix or switch to a different snare drum. I'm stinkin' picky like that!


The Infatuations have something to build on while they continue moving block parties in Detroit. Their affection for Motown is evident; even on their media kits they place stamps of musical legends on the envelope. Now excuse me while I sample this amazing riff.......Kidding!!!




The self-proclaimed Zig Ziglar of rap, Billy Delgado, is a Music Producer/Artist and Writer by day and sleeping pillow-drooler by night. He is currently producing the debut album for his band The 288's, a God-inspired Hip Hop/R&B group that combines soul-baring lyricism with an electric innovative sound, breaking from the norm and reaching all cultures & ages (save senior citizens). He still can't believe he's a family man with a beautiful wife Mari & three boys Chris, Nelson and Joshua, so he continues to pinch himself silly to this day.

 

 

 

The self-proclaimed Zig Ziglar of rap, Billy Delgado, is a Music Producer/Artist and Writer by day and sleeping pillow-drooler by night. He is currently producing the debut album for his band The 288's, a God-inspired Hip Hop/R&B group that combines soul-baring lyricism with an electric innovative sound, breaking from the norm and reaching all cultures & ages (save senior citizens). He still can't believe he's a family man with a beautiful wife Mari & three boys Chris, Nelson and Joshua, so he continues to pinch himself silly to this day.

 

 

- See more at: http://www.newdmagazine.com/apps/articles/web/articleid/79282/columnid//default.asp#sthash.rR184hJD.dpuf

 

 

 

 

The self-proclaimed Zig Ziglar of rap, Billy Delgado, is a Music Producer/Artist and Writer by day and sleeping pillow-drooler by night. He is currently producing the debut album for his band The 288's, a God-inspired Hip Hop/R&B group that combines soul-baring lyricism with an electric innovative sound, breaking from the norm and reaching all cultures & ages (save senior citizens). He still can't believe he's a family man with a beautiful wife Mari & three boys Chris, Nelson and Joshua, so he continues to pinch himself silly to this day.

 

 

- See more at: http://www.newdmagazine.com/apps/articles/web/articleid/79282/columnid//default.asp#sthash.rR184hJD.dpuf

 


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