Almost a decade since Outrun, Kavinsky aka Vincent Belorgey, has dropped Reborn and I have thoughts. First, the new Kavinsky album is really something. You can’t help but love Belorgey’s devotion to 80’s electronic music and cinema. I would add, however, there are electronic alternatives to Reborn without the same pop sensibilities that you shouldn’t look past. Last year I was smitten by Invisible Cities by Winged Victory for the Sullen, so keep reading.
Kavinsky is Reborn
First point, the sophomore slump is real. The challenge of reinventing yourself is real. What better way to defeat these phenomena than releasing your second album nine years after the first? “Nightcall,” of “Drive” fame, thrust Kavinsky into the spotlight in 2011. I’ve never actually seen the movie, but heard the song. Remember this?!
Rather than re-racking his success from “Nightcall,” the new Kavinsky album goes brighter and all-in on 80’s nostalgia on Reborn. At its very best, it is muscular and compelling, as on the soaring collaboration with Cautious Clay on “Renegade.”
Other standout tracks include opener “Pulsar” and the funky “Cameo.” It is a great, cohesive synthwave tribute to the 80’s.
Editor’s note: At times, Kavinsky indulges cheesier, Xanadu territory, as on “Trigger.” Or am I hearing Styx? I DON’T THINK it’s ironic, but when you hear songs like “Vigilante,” it’s hard not envision G.O.B. Bluth dancing through his corny magic act, aces high.
If you like Kavinsky, you may love this band
Second point, I was more engrossed in last year’s Invisible Cities by the ambient/neo-classical Winged Victory for the Sullen. (I know, I know…I am going to write a full post on stupid band names). The genres are only adjacent — or the labels we attach to them are only adjacent. But the scope and power that AWVFTS captured on Invisible Cities, scoring a dance production of the same name, is just awesome.
Here is “Only Strings and Their Supports Remain.”
Now that’s what I’m talking about!
It’s not Styx’s Paradise Theatre…you are hearing the score for some Macbeth-level tragedy on “Succession,” and it couldn’t get more decadent. You CAN’T NOT listen to AWVFTS in the car without being transported into a movie in which you are the hero.
5/5 stars, would recommend.
The new Kavinsky album is terrific. See also: Winged Victory
So much good happens on Reborn that it has to be considered indispensable listening for synthwave fans, specifically sci-fi enthusiasts born between 1968 and 1973. The album runs from hard-hitting to rhythmic to sultry numbers like “Zenith.” Buy it here.
Related/Unrelated…last year’s new classical Invisible Cities by A Winged Victory for the Sullen is a super-compelling, timeless listen.
You can’t go wrong with either.