Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"Right On Track"

I've always loved this song. VH-1 Classics used to play its video often -- a video that defined "whimsy." You remember it: the one with the backup singers dressed like chickens taunting the band from the window as they play the song in a checkered tile nightmare of a kitchen. "Right On Track" is what the name says, a dance track with one skittering foot firmly in 1987 and the other in some giddy "Pee Wee's Playhouse" no man's land. On first listen Dan Gilroy's pipes sound wispy and uninflected, but there's a hint-- a very slight one -- of a hip-hop influence in the way he throws away some words and comes down hard on others, like he's negotiating a space between Rev Run and Green Gartside. This track is a kissing cousin of your favorite number on Cupid & Psyche '85, but substituting urgency for wit. You know about the drummer if you know anything about the Breakfast Club: Stephen Bray, producer/cowriter of Madonna's "Into the Groove," "Angel," "Express Yourself," and "Keep It Together," among others. What is a surprise is how crisp those snares snap for a 1987 dance track.

For those interested, the superb Uptown Mix.

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