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Confidence Man - Tilt Music Album Reviews

Confidence Man - Tilt Music Album Reviews
The dance-pop quartet pays tribute to a canon of airhead classics on a fleet-footed record that prioritizes sheer pleasure and fun above all else.

Confidence Man are fighting valiantly for the rights of bimbos and himbos everywhere. While plenty of bands beg to be taken seriously, the Melbourne-via-Brisbane four-piece makes deadpan, gleefully stupid dance music that’s unashamedly derivative and, most of the time, conceptually meaningless. Their second album, Tilt, commits so hard to meaninglessness and stupidity, in fact, that it manages to function as both good comedy and often superlative dance pop. The aim of these songs, according to vocalist Grace Stephenson, was “partnering this soft, feminine energy with also this hot, feminine energy.” The result is an album whose closest points of comparison are airhead classics like Spice World: The Movie or Paris Hilton’s Paris—a blast of raw energy so potent that it’s hard not to surrender.

Confidence Man first tried this formula on 2018’s Confident Music for Confident People, a collection of largely prosaic dance pop whose mildly fun concept—Stephenson and fellow vocalist Aidan Moore talk-singing in half-hearted American accents about being hot, being in a band, and going to cool parties—was driven into the ground several times over. The lyrics were strangely dense, as if Stephenson and Moore were looking so hard for punchlines that they ended up overcooking the joke; the production felt undercooked, recalling the thinness of early aughts electroclash and dance punk without any of the anarchic edge. Although Tilt follows roughly the same format, it’s better in every way. The main reason is that these songs don’t feel like they were tossed off in the 15 minutes before a show. Producers Sam Hales and Lewis Stephenson do an admirable job of paying homage to 1990s and 2000s dance pop: They conjure a simmering, spine-tingling tech-house build on “Woman,” pay tribute to “Groove Is in the Heart” on “What I Like,” and incorporate textures of dub, UK garage, and Balearic house in unshowy but ingratiating ways. There’s nothing here for purists, but many of these tracks scratch the same itch as Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia or Lady Gaga’s Chromatica, picking elements from the past 30-odd years of dance music history to create a sophisticated and varied synthesis.

Rather than attempt to write jokey lyrics, as they did on Confident Music, Stephenson and Moore are more content just to vibe out, with far more engaging results. The lyrics of Ace of Base-ish highlight “Push It Up,” spoken by Stephenson, typify the outlook: “I do the same thing every day around the world/I do it everywhere ’cause I’m that kind of girl.” They don’t really mean anything, but you feel hot and silly saying them, which is Confidence Man’s modus operandi. Although Stephenson takes most of the vocal duties on Tilt, Moore rarely fades into the background, probably because he takes the persona to even more loony heights than his bandmate, delivering lines like “We’re alive, we’re all animals with beautiful hair” with spine-chilling sleaze.

Tilt makes occasional allusions to the often feminist bent of classic house and disco, but these too are comically shallow: “I’m a woman of many words/But words do not define me,” Stephenson intones on “Woman.” This song, like “Angry Girl” and the enjoyably misandrist “Toy Boy,” seems to have something to say, but the rhetoric falls apart under even minor scrutiny—which feels intentional. Confidence Man find humor in reducing political sentiment to a pulp of vaguely empowering buzzwords.

As Confident Music proved, songs like these are only enjoyable when the production is up to scratch, and Tilt is not without its clunkers. The monotonous “Break It Bought It” is a house slog so desultory that not even RuPaul would touch it, and Stephenson’s endless refrain of “You break it, you bought it” begins to feel bludgeoning very quickly. These duds, however, prove just how sublime the highs are. The best song, “Holiday,” captures the ecstatic raver aesthetic of Sydney dance heroes Pnau and their 2007 hit “Embrace.” The entire appeal of Tilt is captured in these four-and-a-half minutes, prioritizing sheer pleasure and fun over all else. It’s a simple song, but it has a jolting, electric power that taps into the hedonistic feeling of all the best EDM. It confirms one thing about Confidence Man: It takes a lot of smarts to sound this dumb.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Confidence Man - Tilt Music Album Reviews Confidence Man - Tilt Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 Rating: 5

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