Mango Music 2014
All-encompassing summer adventure in hi-fi and raw feelings where not a minute is wasted.
It might be a familiar story of a talented guy helping a talented girl to achieve success only to be gutted, but Bret Bingham and Tim Morse found a new twist to it. Combining the former’s pop agenda with the latter’s prog attitude, “The Mangoes” clings to their Californian air yet covers all the bases in between over 19 songs that bring the concept to life without overblowing it. There’s an artsy, Bowie-esque approach on display, with many a playful, pun-employing moments which keeps the listener focused for the whole hour.
It’s easy and interesting to follow the threads, as the jazzy croon and glossy swing in “The Future (Will Be Yours)” has its melody turned into a punchy number for “The Future (Will Be Ours)” and into a gloomy ballad for “No Future,” once the mood gets set with a keyboard-driven cosmic confectionary of “I Told You So.” Its sun-kissed silkiness unfolds in a colorful roll in “Mangoes Overture” whose initial orchestration rises to the dizzy heights of sweet desperation in “Headed For A Fall”; in such surroundings, even the infectious Latin leering in “Barista Girl” doesn’t feel so much of a pastiche. But where “Dirty Love” delivers soulful hard rock, the female-voiced “Stupid Chorus” dwindles the sway down to a Balearic techno groove that’s passed on to “Brickwall” for a raga-ravaged psychedelic injection.
Styles may shift here yet the tunes always bubble right on their surface, the harmonies-filled chorus of “Disguise” lodging itself in one’s memory for long until the heavy “Broken Soul” shatters it all. In order to not leave a bitter aftertaste, “The Mangoes Theme” offers a finale in a punk mode – quite fitting, given the banality of the story in the first place – to celebrate this effortless triumph of an album. Juicy!