Review Summary: Moroder’s Déjà Vu is a rehash of nondescript electro pop music that lacks the impact to resonate beyond the surface.
Giorgio Moroder is still here. As one of the pioneers of electronic dance music, his influence still trickles through modern music, and given his success as an artist and a producer, it’s not difficult to see why. An album like Deja Vu
is a good idea on paper: take a musical icon and pair him with various contemporary pop vocalists to reel in the new generation. However, it seems that Moroder’s ambitions as a producer have severely receded. Thus, Deja Vu
sounds nondescript and often painfully uninteresting.
His studio album resurgence begins with “4 U with Love”, an instrumental which lacks any truly exciting or distinguishing characteristics. It’s syrupy dance floor fodder with a predictable structure, an innocuous melody, and a glossy finish. However, this track is a very minor offense when stacked up with the heap of generic vocal hooks that make up the majority of the record. The refrain of “Don’t Let Go” is so rudimentary and sugary that it truly feels as if Moroder is parodying the music he once helped to push forward. This track and songs like “Wildstar”, “Right Here, Right Now”, and “Back and Forth” are blatant retreads into electronic dance music tropes that have overstayed their welcome.
With such an emphasis on vocal performances from artists like Sia, Foxes, and even Britney Spears (for a cover of “Tom’s Diner”), Moroder either refuses or forgets to infuse his beats and instrumentation with any sense of fullness or depth. They are merely half-baked backdrops for recycled musical themes that primarily focus on romance, lust, and the fickle quality of infatuation. The singers' ability and willingness to mesh with Moroder's tawdry beats correlate to the varying levels of success in making such a banal mixture work.
Charli XCX’s performance on “Diamonds” is certainly an enjoyable highlight as Charli’s energetic delivery elevates the throbbing electronic textures into something pretty dynamic. “I Do This for You” is another moment where the saccharine quality of Marlene’s vocals and the rousing synthesizers are pleasant enough to overlook the song’s inherent sappiness. Still, passable moments aside, the lack of surprises cripples the LP rather than simply grounding it. Moroder, for instance, brings guitar onto songs like the title track and “74 Is the New 24”, but it acts more as a placeholder than a meticulously forged layer. It’s easy to wonder whether Moroder is limiting himself or is no longer able to bring anything fresh or stimulating to the table, but Deja Vu
’s substance unfortunately points to the latter.
is marred by its lack of vision and identity. It’s ultimately a rehash of clichés, stripped down to their most bland roots. Though there are definitely moments in which Moroder and his vocal collaborators pull together some catchy musical ideas, they hardly resonate beyond the surface. In some ways the album’s title is fitting, but this time it might just be too on the nose.
I Do This for You
Original Post: http://re-viewsmagazine.com/giorgio-moroder-deja-vu/