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Morning Waves & Evening Babes: Neon Black’s Wet Dreams - Music Review

 Original Synth

Neon Black's Wet Dreams

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It is a bright summer morning. Mom and Dad are at work. You have the house all to yourself. The day ahead is full of endless possibilities. Baseball at noon. Biking up to the dam in an hour. Whatever you want. But you can’t get your mind off of the mystery right next door. In her white shorts and tube top, she is a beautiful mystery indeed. It is 1989. As you pour the milk into your Batman cereal (Thank you, Michael Keaton), you replay the moment she first looked at you over again in your mind. Those eyes and the soul they invite; that hair. Wow.

Whatever happens today, the girl next door has to be a part of it.


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Neon Black’s Wet Dreams is the soundtrack to those nostalgic memories where it seemed the world was made for you alone. It is for the summers of a bygone era and all the beautiful boys and girls that filled them.   This is a HOT release; 14 tracks that yearn for the touch of someone you once loved. Maybe it is better described as the soundtrack to your first love; your first crush; or your first LUST. Regardless, this release is his BEST work yet.  But, believe me, for those of you experiencing all of that for the first time, you NEED to get this release NOW.

There is a steady progression in what Neon Black puts out. This is a producer on the rise. So far, we have TEN releases in TWO years. Come on! Neon Black has what you want and need in synthwave. Not content to repeat himself, Neon Black flexes hardcore on Wet Dreams and gives his fans a new album that is both carnal and sensitive. It’s a nice balance that Neon Black manages quite well.  It never gets dull.  It never gets boring.  Wet Dreams is riding a sonic high.

"Narratively rich and surefooted with its synthesized sounds, Wet Dreams is a series of nocturnal emissions that simply do not disappoint.  You might have to shower afterwards..."


The good (and groovy) times begin with the dreamy “Waves & Babes” and, just like any good Thomas Newman soundtrack (see The Man with the One Red Shoe), we are immediately drawn into its evocative spell. The synths are dripping with mood and, with steady pads providing guidance through the sensual dark, we come out of this morning-like haze ready for the meditative pulses inside “Wet”, a perfect second track that echoes into the void of possibilities that the day this song cycle starts on could bring the listener.

neon black vhs posterAnd, yes, this release feels THAT personal. You will sense similar vibes when you give it a spin. Especially when “The Girl Next Door” kicks in with its legwarmers and lycra touch. Themes rarely feel this REAL. But this one will have you sweating just like the kid in the opening scene I wrote at the top of this review. Atmosphere gets lifted with “Highway Sex”, which is easily one of the best tracks on this release.  Hit repeat.  Someone somewhere is enjoying the ride.

Pick a track. Seriously. Whether it is the spacey tones of “Falling Stars” or the upbeat danceable rhythm in “Sailing” and all its yacht rock yearnings, the songs included on this stellar release are easily interchangeable with ANY song in ANY John Hughes movie. But let’s not stop there. Why isn’t Neon Black scoring NEW movies with this material? Every song here has a purpose and a momentum that radiates a satisfied glow. The spaces are filled with BIG DRUMS and even BIGGER CHORDS.  No moment is left wasted.  

And that’s not even half of the release. The electronic powerhouse that is “The End of Nowhere” and “Rooftop Lovers” will seriously have eyes watering and feet tapping.  Don't believe me?  Check out the video for "The End of Nowhere" and get back to me via email.  I will wait.

The End of Nowhere Official Music Video:

I don’t know what Neon Black showers with or eats in the morning to be so damn creative, but here’s hoping he shares the recipe or the ingredients or the secret showering partner. Because when the reflectiveness of “Shores at Sunset” hits, even casual listeners of the synthwave scene are sure to take notice and trade in their spectacle for a Snake Plissken-approved eyepatch.

There are many tonal shifts through this epic release and “Open Blinds” plays to that with an expressive aural canvas that has us imagining an urban sprawl as a city’s nighttime scene plays out for all those dressed for the occasion to take notice of. Building on the sense of mood, time, and place are “Late Last Night” and “In The Moment” as we are thrown into a potboiler of a synthetic situation that we can only flashdance our way out of.

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Fantasies don’t get any wilder than with the one-two punch of “Staying Here Forever” (yes, please!!!) and the dynamically plush “Melt With Me”, this release’s closer. The electronic wash of nostalgia is strong with these two songs. But when the fade out begins, I seriously don’t think anyone can be disappointed in what Neon Black has done with his latest release. This is expertly produced material that screams for an audience.

Narratively rich and surefooted with its synthesized sounds, Wet Dreams is a series of nocturnal emissions that simply do not disappoint.  You might have to shower afterwards...

 


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