21 March 2023

Favorite Albums Project #1: Year of the Caprese by Cherub

Well, here's an undertaking. I'm gonna be posting some music criticism (and I use that term very lightly, this is very much out of my wheelhouse) for some of my favorite albums. I remember I did something like this on my old defunct Instagram page, and really I just want to update those outdated teenage opinions with some more seasoned ideas from someone who's a bigger music fan than ever. Hope you enjoy.

Year of the Caprese by Cherub

Holy shit guys. This album was my preteen through teen life, and it still remains my personal favorite album to this day. You might think, "What? Some random indie electropop album is your favorite... ever?" Well, the answer's yes. Over all of the most acclaimed albums in the world, this is MY favorite. It's not perfect, but it's my top album because I have such a personal connection to it.

Essentially, when I was a kid, I listened to whatever my parents had on the radio and on CD, which happened to be a lot of oldies. In particular, I remember a funk compilation CD that my parents owned which had all kinds of great music on it, and I think that was the first time I was introduced to the genre that really moves me to this day. Funk is a sort of odd, vague genre, but when I hear it, I know it, and usually I love it. 

Year of the Caprese is Cherub's follow up to their awesome 2013 album MoM & DaD, and it steals their big hit off of that last album, which you may have heard if you were into the club scene around ten years ago, "Doses and Mimosas". A ton of people consider Cherub "that Doses and Mimosas band", sadly including the band themselves today (a reference to the fact that that's what their Spotify description says. "We're the Doses and Mimosas band but we do other music too". Kinda depressing to see one of my favorite music duos succumb to a sort of one hit wonder monotony, but oh well. 

But this album, along with most of their other absolute bangers, prove that they are much more than "that Doses and Mimosas band"! Something that I totally love about the excellent funky neo-disco grooves of this record are the self aware lyrics that seem to somewhat deconstruct the "party music" that many people reduce this band to having always produced. So much of it has a "crying on the dance floor" quality to it, including the unforgettable "<3 (Heart)", which is one hell of a break-up song. There's some more self awareness in many of the references to relationships (and relations) on the record. As opposed to the typical "fuck yeah I had sex"-type of club music, this seems to have a lot more of a variety of emotion and it feels so much more genuine. The highs feel so blissful (such as on the closer, "Chocolate Strawberries", and the lows are so bitter (such as on the aforementioned "<3 (Heart)".

The instrumentals are so fun by themselves, with their retro-style production, yet this has some great lyrics and vocals. Jordan's low, talkbox-filtered crooning along with Jason's fantastic almost stuttering falsetto is one of my complete favorite combinations of vocals.

I love every single song off this album in its own way. There's not one dud. I hope you love it even half as much as I do friends!

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