The Wind

Wind-Jammer: Where It's At with the Wind

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The Wind's scintillating Where It's at with the Wind exudes a joie de vivre from each and every one of its irresistible, quirky, and relentlessly hook-laden gems. Compositional wunderkinds Lane Steinberg and Steve Katz turn on the megawatt charm in the romp of "What's the Fun?" and don't dial it down until "Slap in the Face," at which point it feels as though a palpable evolution in songwriting has already transpired over the span of the 14 tracks. An unorthodox and anachronistic mono mix results in a sui generis sound that is part and parcel of the album's winning nature. The result is 1982 Miami's wholly exuberant (if wholly unsolicited) answer to Meet the Beatles! "I Am the Garden"'s snarky Orbison-esque riff and straight-ahead beat take no prisoners and suffer no fools. Guitar and piano raunch featuring shared lead vocal duties by Steinberg and Katz typify "Hey Eloise," while "Never Love Another" percolates with a pure blast of frenetic energy mostly concentrated in the aforementioned vocal interplay. The trio's unsurprising fondness for Motown, as well as its lyrical incisiveness, is on clear display in the paean to romantic fickleness, "You Changed." "Wonder Track" is stupendous and forceful, with Steinberg addressing inspiration personified, having assumed the form of a bewitching young lady. The album's centerpiece, the magnificent "Some Friend (You Turned Out to Be)," one of the greatest non-hit singles ever, begins with spoken words-to-the-wise courtesy of Katz and immediately dives into the always-lamentable tale of the friend who didn't quite have the protagonist's best romantic interests at heart. Throughout the running time, the band's remarkable knack for exceeding their reach in most areas melodic, harmonic, and dynamic manifests itself with a certain prodigiousness seldom heard on a first album. If the "it" of the album's title were to refer to "one of the more confident and accomplished debuts of all-time by one of the more criminally obscure bands of all-time," then "it" is most definitely here with the Wind.

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