The Yearning - Dreamboats & Lemonade - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Yearning - Dreamboats & Lemonade

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2014-06-30

Following on from several singles and mini-albums, the king and queen of dreamy, late 50s/early 60s cotton candy return with their debut full-length and it’s everything we’ve come to love about Mr Moore and Ms Dobie and a whole lot, erm, more. Joe’s musical sensibilities are frozen in a time warp where bobby sox, blue jeans, ponytails, and sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows were de rigueur. No one captures naiveté and wide-eyed innocence better than Maddie Dobie, a classic teenage heart-throb for the ages (and a spitting image of a young Marilyn Monroe, which should have producers knocking down her agent’s door when the next Marilyn biopic comes around for casting).

Moore and co nail the Phil Spector-meets-Burt Bacharach sound perfectly, and everyone who’s been collecting all those 60s girl group comps will want to scoop this up immediately. The album is divided into two conceptual sides which explore the sweet ('Dreamboats') and bitter ('Lemonade') sides of love. This 21st century rendition of Bacharach and Warwick kicks off side one, with Dobie floating in an a doo-wop intro that’s equal parts Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly. Dreamy is the word for lead single 'If I Can’t Have You', the majesty of which is described elsewhere in our single review.

Moore tosses off unforgettable melodies like most people change ringtones, but each track is also embellished with a little something which makes it even more special. 'Chasing Shadows' introduces strings, woodwinds, and horns via The Yearning Orchestra to up the bubbly quotient, while the galloping 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' (Morricone style) arrangement adds a spaghetti Western expanse to the cinematic 'Marry Me in the Morning', which may just be their most ambitious creation yet.

If you need any further evidence of who has the most perfect voice in rock and roll, just listen to the heart-tugging 'It’s You That I Want'. Dobie’s inflection, emotion, and imploring vocal rank up there next to Harriett Wheeler, Sandy Denny, and Sarah Cracknell as a purveyor of the most perfect sounds to ever pass through a singer’s lips.

Each track ends with a cheesy little synth ditty/burp which may be an homage to either Saturday morning cartoons or the old DeWolfe music library albums (or both). They’re just this site of too cute, but still fun, although hearing a dozen of them does start to wear thin by the time we get to side two.

And speaking of, we would expect a track like 'Lemonade' to be fresh, cool, and relaxing, and we are not disappointed. Almost a cha cha/foxtrot melody floats across the room; toss in a hand-clap here and there, a trumpet blast for emphasis, and we’re off and running.

'How Will I Know' is practically oozing with the kind of swaying good feelings the Brill Building writers tossed off with the ease of drinking a glass of water. Moore has certainly captured their genius here. I can hear something like this coming from the collaborative pens of an Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry, Carole King/Gerry Goffin, or Cynthia Mann/Barry Weil.

The astonishing thing here is that Moore is doing it all himself. 'Every Time I Fall in Love' rues the dangers of falling in and out of love, but it’s so damn catchy, you can’t possibly stay brokenhearted long enough to well up a tear, and Alicia Rendle-Woodhouse’s backing vocals here are sublime.

Simply put, the best, and most fun album I’ve heard all year.

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