RetroFuture Pop Exotica
It’s Alive! Media
Street: 01.22
Vermouth = Raffi + Chicago (the musical)
The cover of this album is a good hint as to what to expect from this album: Justine Kragen sits on a barstool dressed in all black with fishnet tights, as Steve McDonald stands behind a tiki-bar with a tiki-torch and tiki-lights, toucans, maracas, while an overabundance of the color maroon surrounds them. RetroFuture Pop Exotica felt like it should be a musical rather than a stand-alone album, the lyrics being narrative in style and covering topics like go-go dancers (in the song “Go Go Dancer”), going to Costa Rica, and wanting iguanas. “Gretchen the Iguana” is based on a true story about Justine finding her iguana that she still keeps today. “My House” felt like a seductive enchantment song—but one that might be performed at a circus—and it was this sort of childish feel that turned me off. -Brinley Froelich