Cajun Dance Party

The Colourful Life

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AllMusic Review by

Cajun Dance Party are another in the long line of British bands in the early 2000s influenced by jittery post-punk and peppy, literate new wave groups. They are also young enough that they are probably influenced by the Arctic Monkeys as well. The two groups share a sound (angular, hard-charging guitars; off-kilter rhythms; dramatic arrangements) and a sensibility. That said, Cajun Dance Party manage to carve out their own identity on their debut album, The Colourful Life. Part of it is down to frontman Robbie Stern's distinctive voice as he yelps, croons, and shouts his way through the album. Most importantly, he sounds 100 percent committed at all times, which helps to put over the sometimes generic, sometimes insightful lyrics. (That's definitely one department where the Monkeys have them beat.) The band also sounds committed throughout, the guitars rip and shred, the drums push things along nicely, and the keyboards add nice little touches without overpowering things. Bernard Butler's sure-handed production helps keep things sonically interesting, too. A great sound and a tight band without songs is kind of a waste, though, and luckily Cajun Dance Party deliver some corking good rockers like "The Race," "Colourful Life," and "Amylase," and add a couple nice ballads ("No Joanna," "Buttercups") to give the record some balance. Also, the dramatic "The Hill, the View and the Lights" ends the record on an ambitious, satisfying note. Cajun Dance Party aren't doing anything too unique or special here, but they do what they do with conviction and guts -- and that's enough to make this a very good debut.

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