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Caravan Palace releases new electro-swing album


Gangbusters Melody Club” by Caravan Palace came out about a month ago and I have been putting off my review of it until now. It sits with a runtime of just under 45 minutes. I personally like albums around that length since I can easily listen to them during a workout or while studying.

Caravan Palace is an electro-swing band. Electro-swing is a sub-genre of electronic dance music that mixes house with big band jazz by bringing in a few similar instruments and borrowing several techniques. It can be cheesy, but when it works, it works well.

Caravan Palace are consistent, and I consider their last album “Chronologic” one of two albums responsible for my desire to become a musician. 

In standard fashion for the band, the first track “MAD” was released a couple of months early with its music video to build hype. It’s got catchy lyrics, some great drops and a very “earwormy” chorus. It also ends with this deep voice saying “caravan” that’s kinda cheesy, but it works and made me excited for the rest of the album. Its music video also had both the animation quality and weirdness that the band is known for. 

The next four songs are all pretty generic. None of them are particularly bad, but this is my least favorite segment of the album since it doesn’t try anything new. It all blends together. 

“Reverse” is the first song of the album to change the Caravan Palace formula. It starts with a cadenza, which is cool since cadenzas aren’t common in electronic dance music. It then jumps back and forth between its main song and the saxophone solo from the beginning. I wish that more electro-swing bands would be risky and do this type of thing.

“Fool” sits in an emotional and tempo middle ground between the two parts of the last song. I like it as an emotional transition between “Reverse” and “Spirits,” but I don’t think that I would listen to it as much alone.

“Spirits” is the first song that Caravan Palace has ever used an F-bomb in and it’s pretty striking. It’s also got some cool barbershop-like background vocals.

“Portobello” is my second favorite song of the album. It starts with a trombone solo that loops. It then has a few other solos that do the same later on. The song feels unique since it builds around its solos instead of the solos being put on top of the preexisting song.

“Villa Rose” is the last song on the album and easily my favorite. It’s a ballad with a hauntingly good melody that I found myself thinking about hours after listening to it.

As a whole, I didn’t like “Gangbuster Melody Club” as much as Caravan Palace’s other albums. I think its main problems are that it doesn’t try as much new stuff as it should and it’s a very backloaded album. 

I rate “Gangbusters Melody Club” three out of five Loper stars.

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Lucas Ratliff
Lucas Ratliff, Reporter
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