Theme Park – Download Bundle (Review)

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The boys of Theme Park have been most kind in offering us a new batch of tracks this spring. The four tracks within give you the feeling that you’ve just had the best summer of your life, and what’s more, unlike a trip to the Costa whatever, it’s totally free!

Blending sounds of pop, funk, dance and indie it’s easy to pinpoint Theme Park’s sound as something akin to Talking Heads and Foals, is no different.

Opener “Ghost” has disco inclinations, but is fresher and without any of the cheese. The joyful simplicity of the melody and lyrics gives it a sense of innocence, whilst the funk guitar and disco beats make it an infectious head-bobber. The percussion-led breakdowns which flow on an almost Latin rhythm add an interesting contrast to the fuller sound of the verses and are very pleasant on the ear.

It continues with “Wax”, an acoustic recording from The Line of Best Fit sessions. Seeing the bracketed word ‘acoustic’ suffixing the title, it is easy to assume that what you are about to hear will be a rough and ready lo-fi affair. So it was both surprising and delightful to find that this version is actually well-crafted and produced. The track is delicate in its instrumentation; particularly in the guitar which delivers a really sweet sound. The chord progression is a tried and tested classic, set to give a really sentimental feel. It does ramble a little, but who says a song needs to get to the point, or even have a point to get to.

“Milk” has drawn the most direct Talking Heads comparison and has typically come off worse. However, it only seems fair to judge it on its own merits. The whole track has a fresh, tropical vibe, cemented by calypso-like flourishes in the percussion. Again it has a simple melody which is full of youthful exuberance, but hides more poignant lyrics about holding on to your dreams even when you know it’s a lost cause.

Upon its original release “Two Hours” attracted a huge buzz, receiving the ‘hottest track’ accolade on the Zane Lowe show and collecting a plethora of positive reviews. This remix by New Yorkers Populette sees the record take on a darker tone. Although it was never a happy song lyrically, here it becomes a chilled-out dance tune which gives a feel of happiness gone slightly insane, like a derailed mushroom trip, particularly in the use of vocal effects. A well-executed reworking, aptly different from the original.

Theme Park have the ability to take a song which is essentially pretty simple and add all the interest in tactful instrumentation; like The XX  but at a dance party. I suppose the aim of this bundle is to encourage listeners new and old to purchase the fully-formed releases, and I must say, stingy as I am, I’m tempted to part with my cash.

You can download the tracks from here

Stefanie Jane Williamson

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