Up, Up and Away: Home Demos 1993-2002

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Anyone who’s aware of La Casa Azul and their bubbly, ultra fresh, and clean take on danceable indie pop should recognize the name Milkyway. Guille Milkyway is the man behind the curtain, responsible for all the music on their albums, and Up, Up and Away: Home Demos 1993-2002 gathers up recordings he made before forming La Casa Azul. Inspired by all sorts of sunny, happy pop music from the '60s (like the Beach Boys, the 5th Dimension, the Turtles) and the 1990s (Pizzicato Five, Saint Etienne, house music), and using every bit of wonderfully corny technology he could get his hands on (vocoders, tinny drum machines, synth horns), the tracks here prove that Milkyway is a skilled musical alchemist who blends these elements into a giddy, almost chirpy sound. The songs here are almost overloaded with hooks, both melodic and musical, as Milkyway holds nothing back. He fills all the available sonic space with vocal harmonies, cheesy synth flourishes, 8-bit bleeps, jangling guitars, tambourines, and skittering electro-pop drumbeats until the songs feel ready to burst. Over the top, Milkyway’s sweetly plaintive voice sings of love and gentle melancholy, though he could be singing about ritual dismemberment and you wouldn’t realize it thanks to the almost maniacal joy of the music. The collection shows Milkyway trying out different approaches; delving into chamber pop on tracks like “Julie” or “I Know,” glitzy Euro-pop on “Bubblegum,” and a bunch of cheerfully breezy songs that could have been on La Casa Azul's first couple of releases (“Shine (Go to California)," “Magic People,” and “My Groovy Love,” to name a few). No matter the style, Milkyway’s vision is incredibly appealing pure candy pop, and it’s nice to see that La Casa Azul didn’t just arrive out of the blue. Any fan of La Casa Azul, and super-happy indie pop music in general, should thank Elefant for unearthing these gems.

blue highlight denotes track pick