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Artist: Night Moves
Album: Colored Emotions
Label: Domino Records
Release Date: Oct.16th, 2012
Review by: Sean Kayden
The Twin Cities natives Night Moves have a smooth take off on their first endeavor, “Colored Emotions,” but their flight has some turbulence along the way. Luckily, there’s no crash landing and come out of that rough patch in one piece. With the combination of 70s glam rock and pop-country flair of late 80s/early 90s acts to alternative rock of the early 2000s, Night Moves occupies a lot of style with a decent amount of substance to boot. At only ten songs, three of which are less than two minutes long, the album demands to be listened in its full entirety. Luckily, it’s a breezy and mostly consistent voyage from beginning to end. There are a lot of transitions that are powerful and moving, but the sum of the album is greater than its parts. Despite that, there’s a lot of fun to be had on the debut record. Not only does Night Moves connect to their generation, but also effortlessly evoke the sounds of previous one too.
A bit of country, a bit of soul, and a lot of soft rock, Night Moves feel like their from another era and I am perfectly content with that. You can’t really pinpoint the exact sound of the band since they have discernable influences that are all over the board. In today’s music Night Moves is a mix between glam-psychedelic rockers MGMT and freewheelin’ folk-rock aficionados, My Morning Jacket. The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac would fit the bill as the band’s earlier influences. Listening to “Colored Emotions” doesn’t require much attention, but if you do attentively take note, you’re actually in for quite a refreshing sound for today’s era. If you take it at face value, you may appreciate the sounds of the past three decades, but if you rather just listen to a band from those years, you might as well take heed and seek another different music outlet.
The best track is the opener, “Headlights.” It begins like a classic 70s jam and simply hooks you in with its build ups and drop offs consistently running through the track. Lead singer John Pelant has quite the falsetto range. There is something quite charming underneath those vocals. He may not use them to the fullest extent, but nascent vocals nonetheless. While there is so much personality layered under “Colored Emotions,” you start to wonder if it’s entirely original or just mimicking those of others it admires. Nevertheless, with a solid combination of sensitive pop melodies, solid songwriting, and seasoned sound, Night Moves could be your guiding light to the past. What I mean is that they may make you seek out the sounds of earlier days.
The album is full of mercurial hooks, warm undertones, and soulful vocals. The more you listen, the more you connect. It’s the kind of record you wish there was just a little more to put it over the edge. With only 7 normal duration tracks, the album is short-lived. However, with wonderful arrangements and effervescent choruses, the record has great depth despite the relatively limited length. Night Moves’ “Colored Emotions” is as compelling and tender as it is green and undercooked at times. Without a doubt it is a considerably solid first outing. Big ideas and mighty musical explorations leave the Minneapolis three-piece to be a gifted band seeking to ascend from the shadows and enter newfound light.