Music Review - Original Synths

More Than A Neon Paradise: Roxi Drive's Strangers Of The Night - Music Review

 Original Synth

Roxi Drive

Sometimes in this life, we have to go back in order to find the right path forward.  Roxi Drive, returning to the synthwave scene after her first release of Girl on the TV does EXACTLY that with her first full length LP. 

But there is something different this time out.

"MORE than the neon paradise it advertises.  Inside these electronic soundscapes, we have an entire city bustling with life and attitude and forward-leaning fashion"


Strangers Of The Night is an album of TEN sparkling synthwave tunes that signify more than just the evolution of an artist gaining more confidence in her craft.  Here, alongside producers Adam Ford, SelloRekT/LA Dreams, Fantom 87, Doomroar, Neon Black, Voynich, and Marvel 83, she does more than sing; the work here actually PUSHES the genre forward past its neon and chrome and straight into another dimension of dance floor dynamics.

This is synth fusion at its finest.

Strangers Of The Night begins with a backwards chorus.  As if signaling to her listeners exactly what Roxi Drive’s intentions are on her first full length album, we climb in this well-polished time machine and go back; we go way back and then are slingshot forward.  “Run All Night (Chase The Dream)” kicks off the new album with an anthem-like callback to the time of our lives when fashion was fun AND bold.

And hanging in her voice is the hope that we just might get there again.  No matter what her lyrics contain regarding love, loss, and exploration, there is a hope there that is central to everything.  With the release of Strangers Of The Night, nostalgia, in all its glittery forms, becomes a living thing and is transformed by the forward-thinking luster on display here. 

One listen to the moody smokiness of “Falling” or the haunting beginning of “Walking Out Of Love” establishes the significance of these E-LECTRIC BLUE tinged songs.  Continuing the working relationship with SelloRekT/LA Dreams and TAKTA was a good move, but there is an expression of fusion that immediately kicks this release, especially with repeat listens, into an orbit above what others are doing or have done. 

Roxi Drive

The growth here, as evident by tracks like “Call Me Tomorrow?” and the guitar jams of “Strangers Of The Night”, is phenomenal.  Those synth lines at the beginning of “Call Me Tomorrow”, pulses and all, suggest a dreamlike chance meeting, and her lyrics bring us no peace of mind.  The command here from one lover to another is posed as an expressionless question.  The effect is an unsettling one that is virtually wiped clean by the next soaring track.

She’s not done yet. 

With “All Night Long”, “Synthicide”, and a remix of “See It In Your Eyes”, Roxi Drive sends us circling under a mirror ball that whirls proudly over perms, mullets, rat tails, and lots of stylish hats.  There’s no limit to the bouncy keys and bubbling melodies as she brings her forward-thinking album back home with a joy ride through the night that ends out front of a video store (or a movie theater).  I’m not kidding either.

If there is anything stopping “Behind the Mask”, complete with its VHS tape slip effect, from being a theme song to a horror film, it is only because Roxi Drive’s voice is so perfect.  The intent here is to slash at our hearts and it works, clearing out the dancefloor with its eerie synths and repetition of “hiding, waiting, watching, needing, feeling” until she fades out with the synths, only then to return with the haunting tease of “Stay With Me” and its trippy vocal effects.

Roxi Drive

Strangers Of The Night, in my opinion, is MORE than the neon paradise it advertises.  Inside these electronic soundscapes, we have an entire city bustling with life and attitude and forward-leaning fashion. 

Catch this wave and synth on!

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