It’s a Corporate World, the highly anticipated LP from Detroit local band Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, was released today under the Warner Brothers label. (I guess it really is a corporate world) The LA Times uses the word “cute” a lot to describe them, and perhaps that is deserved. They aren’t exactly the embodiment of the dirty, grimy sound Detroit rock is known for, and to me that is refreshing.
Over the years, I have come to love the diversity in music that Detroit has to offer. A few bands that have tried The Postal Service sound and failed to pull it off, mostly because they just sound like a Detroit band trying to rip off The Postal Service. While I would put Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott in that same category, they have set themselves apart with lyrical and musical brilliance, angelic harmonies and expert use of electronic instruments.
The title track is about running your life like a corporation, where friends are nothing more than employees and emotions can be quantified and manipulated like a balance sheet. It’s a dance-friendly jingle with a powerful message, Beatles-esque hook and entrancing oohs and aahs that will make you think while you dance…. or just dance. Either way this song will touch you in a special way.
The album’s first few songs start off with down-tempo, and at times, melancholy tones that instantly had me bobbing my head and stroking my chin. Skeletons in particular stood out to me as a song that achieves great layering, and unique uses of vocals and whistles, and lyrics that stand out as well.
For their obligatory cover, the band chose to remake Gil Scott-Heron’s We Almost Lost Detroit. This song on the album most closely represents the Detroit rock sound, with the simple-but-powerful guitar riffs, grinding organ and a steady beat, and Josh Epstein really shows off his chops as well. The original song is based off of a real event that happened, when a Nuclear reactor in Monroe came close to a meltdown and could have potentially wiped out the entire city of Detroit. The boys did this song justice.