Kristin Kontrol - X-Communicate

by Jeff Penczak Rating:8 Release Date:2016-05-27

Dum Dum Girl Dee Dee wanted to branch out and explore different styles of music, but didn’t want to drag the Dummies with her, so she fashioned this pseudonym for her debut solo album (Kristen is her Christian name and she wisely eschewed the various surnames attributed to her, e.g., Penny, Gundred, Welches, for the inside joke we’re left with). First thing Dum Dum fans will notice are the synths, dance beats, and wobbly guitars – you’ll be forgiven if you think you’ve stumbled onto a Cyndi Lauper album. Dee Dee’s voice even seems a few octaves higher, shedding that sexy, sleepy drawl for a perky, polished squeal.

The distinctly New Wave vibe continues on the bouncy ‘White Street’ and it’s the beloved ‘80s all over again: spandex, high hair, frilly shirts, Madonna, Pat Benatar, “EmpTyV”, the lot. ‘(Don’t) Wannabe’ seems a logical choice for lead single, which may win as many new fans as the old ones it loses. Regardless, this could (should) be the hit of the Summer of ’16!

On the other side of the dancefloor, the title track is a tad too Katy Perry/The Voice/Britain’s Got Talent/American Idol for my taste, meaning, of course, that the kids’ll probably love it. The peppy New Order-ish instro break is pretty catchy, tho! Kate Bush-on-helium pretty much describes ‘Skin Shed’, while ‘Face 2 Face’ has more than its title in common with Siouxsie.

Your mileage may vary depending on how big of an ‘80s fan you are, but one thing’s for certain, it’s light years better than Brodie Dalle’s venture into solo waters, and lovingly captures a scene that was just coming into its own about the time Dee Dee was coming into the world. Just know that this is definitely not the new Dum Dum Girls album! Although I, for one, anxiously await which direction Dee Dee chooses to pursue next.

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