album review: pleasure line

Video Age has released their highly anticipated third full length album Pleasure Line. This is the follow up to their 2018 album Pop Therapy, which contained two of their most notable songs to date: “Hold On (I Was Wrong)” and “Pop Therapy.”

Pleasure Line has a much higher fidelity than Video Age’s prior releases. This album has hints of Prince and Devo in its DNA. There is a great amount of slap bass and funky grooves. Pleasure Line also has a calm demeanor to it, and it  seems to have been influenced by contemporaries Homeshake and Mild High Club. There are a diverse bunch of songs that make up this album. Standout tracks from this album include “Aerostar,” “Shadow on the Wall,” and “Maybe Just Once.”

“Aerostar” is a dance anthem. This track has a very catchy riff that carries the song. The vocals are smooth and well harmonized. The simple, yet hypnotic drum beat has an iconic 80’s synth pop sound to it. Right after the aircraft sound that starts the song stops, the track bursts with life. The opening line “slide to the left now, shimmy to the right” is almost an instructional direction for how to dance to this tune. “Aerostar” is as funky as something straight out of the studio from Morris Day and the Time or Oingo Boingo. This single has a faster pace than most of the other songs that they have released, but it is a very memorable one. 

“Shadow on the Wall” was the first single released from the album, and rightfully so. Being one of the strongest tracks, there is absolutely no weak point of the song. The verses have an entrancing melody, which lead the listener to the build up of the chorus. Like “Aerostar,” it makes anyone who hears this song want to move their feet and bob their head. 

“Maybe Just Once” has a very relaxed feel with a slap bass line that carries the groove. The antiphony, or call and response, between the vocals and keyboard is a unique aspect of this song. This tune is both somber and romantic at once. The guitar solo is a high point in the song. “Maybe Just Once” seems like a new sound for Video Age, but it works flawlessly nonetheless.

Pleasure Line is far from the original sound that Video Age started on their debut LP Living Alone. They have strayed away from the traditional rock sound with guitars, and replaced it with synthesizers. This new album is much different from Pop Therapy in terms of its songwriting approach. The songs are more focused and relaxed–signs of an experienced artist. Though it is impossible to go see Video Age live at the moment, it is a nice surprise to have a listen to their latest works of art.

Listen to Pleasure Line here:

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