Coolness to chill
- Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2014 - 12:00am

Recent Manila visitor Capitol Cities comes up trumps with a music that is filled with electro-pop ’90s cool; while Jack Johnson is back on the saddle with a new CD that is perfect for those laid-back summer days.

Capital Cities — In A Tidal Wave of Mystery (Lazy Hooks/Universal Music). Unless you were living under a rock in 2013, there was no escaping Capital Cities’ monster hit Safe and Sound. From the nostalgic ’90s exuberance to the tasteful use of horns, all conspired to make this single the electro-pop song of the year that was. Two L.A.-based commercial jingle songwriters get together via Craiglist, and Capital Cities is born! While admittedly no other track comes close to Safe and Sound, the skillful songwriting is consistent, and I also loved I Sold My Bed, and the animé-inspired Origami. Songs like Center Stage would have felt at home on Daft Punk’s most recent album. With a decided nod to late ’80s and ’90s club music, the record is intelligent, accessible pop.

Jack Johnson: From Here to Now to You (Bushfire/Universal Republic Records). The thing with Jack is that he will never win a prize for ambitious and challenging musical compositions, or for the range of his vocal artistry. With Johnson, the surfer, environmentalist persona seeps into his music like spring water on the ground — his music may betray one dimensionality, but it’s also a comfort zone that allows us to know what to anticipate and feel at home with. On his new album, songs like Washing Dishes, Radiate and Tape Deck are immediate standouts. It’s early morning or evening front porch music that soothes, while it chills and relaxes us. Delivered as promised! And good to find him in form.

CAPITAL CITIES CENTER STAGE DAFT PUNK FROM HERE I SOLD MY BED IN A TIDAL WAVE OF MYSTERY JACK JOHNSON LAZY HOOKS SAFE AND SOUND
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