Friday, September 7, 2007

Song of the Day - Chromatics: "In the City"

Today's Song of the Day was inspired by an excellent compilation of Italo-Disco revival music titled After Dark, which I just picked up yesterday and already have listened to several times. While I would love to talk about the entire collection of songs found on this record, I will instead focus on one of my favorites from Portland, Oregon trio Chromatics (not be confused with Nashville's The Chromatics).

"In the City" is such a simple take on disco that it is easy to dismiss simply because it isn't the kind of song that would tear down the dance floor (which isn't to say it is a difficult tune to dance to). But the wonderful thing about this song is that it tells a story in a very deliberate and methodical way. Instead of hyper-paced fanfare about euphoria and love (like most popular Disco in the US), "In the City" paints a dark picture of metropolitan life against a backdrop of a plodding, hypnotic beat and a basic two note keyboard loop. Vocalist Ruth Radelet's dreamy tone brings everything together as she conjures images of crime, violence and desolation, but in a way that doesn't make her sound frightened. If mainstream disco is the soundtrack to late night partying and hedonistic indulgence, then "In the City" is what plays in your head as you take that sketchy walk back to your apartment.

No comments: