Reach the Stars

Planet XOX

Let’s do the time warp again.

Moonlife might be sick of being compared to artists from the ’80s New Wave, but there’s no way of getting around it. Is that a keyboard homage to the Psychedelic Furs’ “The Ghost in You” on “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow?” Most likely. Listening to Moonlife is like sifting through a high-school yearbook from the ’80s. Some may complain that the music is dated, but that’s what makes it so appealing.

Vintage synthesizers pour from the walls, creating a retro high-tech atmosphere that is impossible to resist if you spent your adolescence grooving to Erasure, Yaz and Depeche Mode. Track after track of keyboard-washed sublime pop; even the instrumental “Quarantine” is worthy of repeated spins. Moonlife carve dreamy textures, filling in the spaces with romantic crooning (best on the blue valentine “Cruel,” which recalls Lloyd Cole, albeit with synthesizers) and lush, swishing keyboards. The utilization of both male and female vocals is a nice touch. There’s a tinge of sadness to these songs, which has always been the New Wave style. “No More” is serves as a woman’s reaction to “Cruel,” melancholy, rainy-day balladry with that loving ’80s caress. This is an extraordinary disc, one that is nostalgic and entertaining from beginning to end.


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