iTunes Single of the Week: RAC feat. Matthew Koma, “Cheap Sunglasses”


Remember the Alan Parsons Project?  How they weren’t really a band per se, but more an ever-changing collective of artists anchored by the peerless songwriting and production team of Parsons and the late Eric Woolfson?  Maybe you don’t– Fluffy is oldish and ever-so-slightly geeky, and likes prog rock in general and Parsons in particular.  But the “band” behind the Single of the Week this time around is only a band in the same sense the Project was– RAC stands for Remix Artists Collective, and it is the brainchild of Portuguese songwriter and producer Andre Allen Anjos.  RAC started out making ingenious remixes of other artists’ material, ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to previous Single of the Week artist Phantogram.  Parsons started out with similar derivations, turning out experimental albums based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe and Isaac Asimov, eventually moving into original work with guest vocalists much as RAC has.  I don’t know why I’ve drawn such an extended comparison of two such disparate artists, but I was instantly reminded more of the Project than other remix or club artists working today, both in style and sound.  In case you’re wondering, I consider that a Very Good Thing;  it’s a nifty little throwback to a sound which was ahead of its time when it was current, and feels fresh and modern and not really retro.  (On a side note, I have observed that the Singles of the Week seem to go through cycles.  When the breakup songs ended, the retro trend started, and I can only wonder what’s next.)

“Cheap Sunglasses” really does sound like a late seventies-early eighties Parsons song.  It’s smooth, polished, almost silky.  Featuring a synth hook reminiscent of steel drum melodies and a Matthew Koma vocal that comes off as deceptively casual with a bit of bite, recalling the best work of Chris Rainbow with the Project, it’s a mellow piece musically but cleverly cynical lyrically (“you may seem like something classic/but you’re cheap sunglasses/and I see right through you”).  It may be a hallmark of my age that I see so many parallels with earlier artists in the music I hear today, but if you like this, and you’re unfamiliar with Alan Parsons, check him out (and vice versa).  You won’t be disappointed.  The SeriouslyFluffy Final Grade:  A+


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