GENRE | UNPOPULAR POP
VERDICT | CANDY THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU
LABEL | SIGNATURE SOUNDS
RELEASE | 5.25.12
There are plenty of things to admire about Lake Street Dive, not least of which is their remarkable ability to write catchy pop tunes that sound at once retro and utterly of-the-moment. For their new EP, Fun Machine, however, they abandon all but one original song in favor of five simply made, yet delectable, covers.
Fun Machine wisely preserves the sparseness of Lake Street Dive’s four-piece, mostly-unplugged lineup. Drum kit, double bass, trumpet, and Rachael Price’s sultry vocals come through with life-sized spaciousness, fortified by an organ’s throaty hum and the occasional flourish of keys. Standouts include a droll rendition of “This Magic Moment,” the classic-sounding original “Clear a Space,” and a brilliantly reworked version of “I Want You Back.” Michael Jackson’s boyish exuberance is absent in this rendering, replaced by a slower tempo and a mournful disposition.
That familiar line, “Oh baby, give me one more chance,” aches with a new bittersweetness
—although if the rest of Fun Machine is any indication, it was already there, waiting for Lake Street Dive to find it.