Chad Valley

Young Hunger

Cascine

Street: 10.30.12

Chad Valley = Scritti Politti + Christopher Cross-Tears For Fears

Sounding too much like an 80’s act resolvedly stuck in the '80s--save the occasional auto-tune tweaking--one man band Hugo Manuel (of Jonquil) has a silky smooth and very high-pitched falsetto, which he can impressively drop a few octaves down effortlessly. From a musical stand point, his full-length debut frequently veers into the elevator kind with little to distinguish it.  The culprit? The too-many-cooks-spoil-the-sound-formula: seven of the 11 tracks are of the “featuring another guest” variety.  That isn’t to dismiss the whole concept or guests for that matter--as lead track “I Owe You This” featuring Twin Shadow--is elevated by the addition.  There is a market for this retro sound but the more successful artists who have embraced it (like La Roux or Hurts) have a much better grasp of what makes it so memorable: the beat. –Dean O Hillis