reviewed by Jack Derriourt
The Colours of Life by CFCF is the perfect album for 2016’s beginnings. Sure, it was made in 2015. And yes, it’s just one long 45 minute track. But it’s irreverant as all hell, and that’s what I want the new year to be about.
Imagine the cheesiest Phil Collins waiting room music. Imagine that someone got their act together and made that style of sound into a sincere, extended piece of soothing, digital marimba-coated wonder. Pan pipes? Careless Whisper-like saxophone parts? Synth drums with about as much bottom as a kiddie pool? Yep, that’s The Colours of Life for you.
This is definitely tongue in cheek sonic reclamation at its best. Who hasn’t sat on hold, listening to the customer service centre’s twisted idea of calming music and thought, “I could do better than that!” Well, CFCF did just that, assembling synth parts like a mad scientist, resolving to swirl old parts together until a new spirit found voice. He also seemed to have a lot of fun doing it. 45 minutes’ worth of fun
The other way of looking at this piece of semi-ironic composition — instead of an extended giggle fest — is that it’s a film score in waiting. As the ridiculously 80s sounding production sways through chill grooves and sombre, Miami lullabies, you get the feeling that there’s a budget yacht-related film just waiting in the wings for CFCF’s work. Maybe Burt Reynolds taking an orphaned baby on a cruise and resisting a troop of armed pirates on their way towards the Florida Keys? Yeah, that’d do the trick.
Which is all a big way of circumnavagating the fact that this music is both ridiculous and beautiful at the same time. It took me a long time to get into Kaputt by Destroyer; but once I attuned to the gratingly outdated nature of a lot of the sounds I first heard on that album, I was able to appreciate the artistry. There’s a definite generational barrier worked into The Colours of Life. It won’t be easy for some to work past that. But for those who can see beyond the corny sax sounds and the new age yacht rock elements, there’s some good stuff going on.
Happy new year everyone. Let all your sailings be smoooooooooooooth.
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)