Best Tracks: Kiss of Death, Rene
Morabeza Tobacco’s self-titled debut album is what you would expect from a dream pop release. With its overall ambiance, elegant synths, and groovy bass lines underneath male/female duo-lead vocals, the album provides a laid back and ethereal experience for the listener.
The introduction track ‘Almost Home’ made me feel a bit discouraged in listening to the album in its entirety. The song felt bland, resonating forgetful contemporary pop songs from the 80s with no real direction, making this my least favorite track. Surprisingly, it took a quick turn for the better, leading me on a curious journey as each track transitioned, but with a few hiccups along the way.
When the first song ends, ‘Kiss of Death’ comes in with an intriguing three-chord synth progression, giving way to a tight bass line, and entwined with a 4/4 drum beat which would carry the song on a journey reminiscent of Genesis. The lyrics come in with Gustave, the male vocalist, singing with what sounds like a vintage microphone or effect that emulates a similar sound. Vanilla, the female vocalist, sings the chorus with whispery tones that still manage to cut through the mix in a satisfying way. This was my favorite track on the album and served somewhat as a competent display of what the album offers.
‘Orinoco’ is another gem with funky guitars, an excellent chorus, and heavy bass fills that seem to come out of nowhere but blend well with the song. ‘Rene’ is solid as well, an instrumental that doesn’t showcase, but rather serves in maintaining the feel of the record.
With the exception of the first song, the album carries on in a productive way. The majority of it flows fluidly with a few lackluster tracks between the good ones but the good definitely outweighs the bad.
Here are a few takeaways: good overall bass and drum rhythms, complementary vocals, funky and interesting guitar parts, but lacks some consistency in regards to keeping the listener fully invested. Bypassing that minor lack of consistency, Morabeza Tobacco is a decent record that would be a good addition to the library of those familiar with the genre.