Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Neptunes - Davy Jones' House Banddotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis album marks a significant departure from The Neptunes sound you know and love. A new lineup and change in writing direction have delivered a fresh sound that's brash and very fun. The addition of horns on many tracks is a significant part of the shift. As a reference point, if you liked Scotland's Beat Poets a decade ago, you'll love this disc. Similar blends of R&B and rock, but with much more surf underpinnings. There's a ton of energy and excitement here.
Picks: Dame Anushka, Mermaid In Heaven, Surf Coaster, T Minus Five, Bikini Blanca, Bethany Rides Again, Midtown Swell, Attack Of The Aqua Marines, Wake Up Miles, Full Color Mojo, Minor Surf, Breaking Surface

Track by Track Review

Dame Anushka dotdotdotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

Rising from darkness into a jazzy brooding number with horns, "Dame Anushka" has the moodiness of a dark inversion of "Comin' Home Baby," while using the edge and energy of circular patterns and great drums.

Mermaid In Heaven dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very cool, almost galloping rhythm pattern and island chords paint a lovely image of floating splendor and sensuality. "Mermaid In Heaven" is a very fine track that is very easy to like. Romantic in a paradise vacation kind of way, and very nicely recorded.

Surf Coaster dotdotdotdotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

Rockabilly energy and speed, roller coaster frenzy, and big guitar twang deliver a circular melody riff not unlike an Eddie Angel instro, but with an extreme sixties fuzz break. The fuzz is so dirty that it musta been done with a sixties box. It almost squirts! Entirely cool!

T Minus Five dotdotdotdotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

Aggressive modern distortion and a great circular riff, along with big chords, rumbling bass, and excellent drums rock your world. This is the sort of track The Neptunes were born to do. I like this a lot!

Bikini Blanca dotdotdotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

"Bikini Blanca" has a coastal Italian feel to it, with great whammy and superb drums. The stereo spread guitars create a wide sense of space, while the optimistic energy drives the whole thing.

Bethany Rides Again dotdotdotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

This is a raucous track with intense horns and detective ethics. It's all energy and fun, and sports plenty of drive. Bethany must be a spy, 'cuz her melody cries out for a safehouse as she goes about her daily espionage. For a break, she hits the surf in search of a perfect curl, and demonstrates why the song is called "Bethany Rides Again."

Midtown Swell dotdotdotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

"Midtown Swell" is a tuff rockin' groover with high energy drums and great horns. Dark, but optimistic, with amazing spunk. Very cool!

Attack Of The Aqua Marines dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big drama and a great melody pattern double picked with danger and moody waves. This track is perhaps the most like The Neptunes of old, but with dark horns. A great double picked melody, island curl, and great energy. Totally cool!

Wake Up Miles dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Wake Up Miles" is written about Tom Walzem's son Miles, and has the island breeziness and suave coolness of a Miles Corbin tiki romancer. I really like the atmospheric drama and the lush guitars. Exotic, and very big sounding.

Full Color Mojo dotdotdotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

"Full Color Mojo" is a rocker with splash and big chunk. The drums and chords charge very well together, and the whammy is nicely placed for real surfability. The tribal drums and honking sax make this a very nice track, especially as the breaks flow so smoothly, ending in big R&B pomp. Very cool!

Minor Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Whoa, now! "Minor Surf" is a great track, with kind of Mermen-ish chords and flashy Spanish influences. Great whammy, rumble, and plenty of groovy energy. This is exotic and splashy, with an infectious sound and energy. Wholly original, it commands attention, and makes for a great drive.

Breaking Surface dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a big adventurous track that's all drama and hugeness. Commanding, inventive, and very film-score cool! The Neptunes second guitarist and recordist Jay van Horn created "Breaking Surface" completely solo. It's all midi except for his guitar, but you sure wouldn't guess. Big, dramatic, orchestral, and very powerful! The sequenced drum tracks sound so much like their actual drummer that he wanted to know "Who played that?" Quite amazing!