Bart Davenport //
Recommended Track: Dust in the Circuits
When I heard Bart Davenport’s single “Wearing the Changes,” the first song off his new LP Physical World, I felt the sunshine-warmth of a good pop song and, with it, the shining hope that maybe, just maybe, Davenport can help preserve quality pop music.
I saw the title of the next song: “Fuck Fame.” And I’m all for it! Damn the Man! Who needs glitz and glamour in their lives, anyways? Who really idolizes becoming the most popular kid in school? It’s so overrated. But then the music started. Once the funky karaoke drum beat and cheesy 80s smooth-jazz guitar riffs took over, I realized that maybe Davenport’s promising pop perspective had met its death sentence.
There are, however, rich pop jams like “Dust in the Circuits.” This track enters Smiths City in the country of Moz. It’s somber and catchy, a redemption from the ridiculous dentist-office vibe that came before it. Even “Pamela” brings back 1960s Wes Anderson fun. But that sweet bubblegum wave abruptly crashes.
“On your Own Planet” exemplifies that jazz funk that we all try to avoid in the grocery store. If anything, Davenport’s sterile guitar and pompous vocals make me uncomfortable enough to want to get my groceries extra fast so my eardrums and psyche can escape mental torture. Wait. Isn’t that the exact reason why some stores play that kind of music? Hm.
What’s also troubling is the notion that this kind of music might be making a comeback. “Every Little Step” is so George Michael in the worst way possible. I mean, is this what the kids are into these days? Sour 80s soft jazz? Is it because it’s more ironic than wearing glasses that don’t have prescription in them?
All in all, the majority of Davenport’s music sounds like the kind of music that gives the 80s a bad rap. When in actuality, there are some really solid records from that generation, Physical World is a straight throwback to a time of crunchy hairsprayed bangs and shoulder pads.