Dizzy Box Nine – Pop Fantasy

In a time when excess is running rampant in popular music, critically acclaimed alternative rockers Dizzy Box Nine cut an album steeped in minimalism and biting simplicity. That album is titled Pop Fantasy, and will be available this February everywhere indie music is sold and streamed.

Pop Fantasy takes the suffocating wall of sound we first got to know in its predecessor Electric Illusion and manipulates it into a groove-laden danceable force to be reckoned with. Starting with the bouncy minor key swing of “Anytime, Anyplace,” it doesn’t take very long for this record to lay claim to nearly any rock enthusiast’s heart.

From a compositional standpoint, “Forever in my Dreams,” “What I Like About You,” “Yesterday” and “Hello Baby” are the essence of mainstream pop songwriting, but the electrifying cosmetics applied by the band (namely in the churn and burn of the riffs) make them decidedly more sophisticated and stimulating.

Dizzy Box Nine play with a traditional pop framework a lot in this record, but they’re careful not to recycle any of the themes or grooves of their contemporaries.

Like a Star” flirts shamelessly with elements of ska but only to a point, while “Happy Birthday” is content to celebrate its fleeting melody without exaggerating its stylization.

Pop Fantasy is raw and littered with lyrical emotion that isn’t overstated in the narratives of “Yesterday,” “Anytime, Anyplace,” “I Won’t Let You Down” or “Maybe,” and comes to life thanks to the rich tonality of the dynamic instrumentation.

These harmonies come across as moody at times, to the point where “Maybe” and the cover song “Just Like Heaven” have a little more in common with rollercoasters than they do typical FM pop fodder. Interestingly, the abstract charisma, mixed with all of the twists and turns of the arrangements, make it so this album is impossible to put down once picked up.

Dizzy Box Nine’s version of “Talk Dirty to Me” and the relentless “Hello Baby” in particular, struck me as major milestones for the band aesthetically.

Talk Dirty to Me”, as most of us know it, sort of encapsulates the vigorous excess that brought down heavy metal in the 1980s, but in this scenario, it’s a thick riff-rocker that expands under the weight of a vicious bass and hollow drumming.

Hello Baby” is by far my favorite Dizzy Box Nine song to date – constructed in a cut and dry “She Loves You” fashion, it lets the rollicking beat and crisp vocals make its statement about love and lust so much more endearing and cerebral.

The latest and arguably best album from the group to date, Dizzy Box Nine’s Pop Fantasy is undoubtedly required listening for both pop and rock fans alike, and while it has no qualms about smacking us hard with gargantuan grooves and violent vocal dueling, it’s the antithesis of inaccessible arrogant hipster nattering.

Pop Fantasy reflects the incredibly sharp sonic profile that this band has cultivated for themselves since their inception, and though 2019 is only just beginning, it’s one of the finer slices of pure pop perfection I’ve reviewed this year.

Check out the official website for Dizzy Box Nine by clicking here. Give them a like on Facebook by clicking here.

Eric Jarvis

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