Words: Ryan Getz
I feel like many music publications are going to avoid A R I Z O N A’s new release Gallery because on a surface level there isn’t a lot that makes them stand out from the crowd of summery pop-rock bands making danceable music. Walk the Moon seemed to be a catalyst for a movement that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
I’ll admit to being skeptical of A R I Z O N A for awhile. I wanted to like them, but part of me believed they were a manufactured band setting out to capitalize on a trend and be a flash in the pan for a season. But listening further makes me believe that the band knows exactly who they are, and are releasing a record that executes their goals on every level. Contrast this with the new Linkin Park album, which comes across as an effort to stay relevant by hopping on a trend, rather than pursuing something because they love it.
Folks, A R I Z O N A is in love with making summery dance music, and they want to whole world to know it. This type of album is easier to react to as a whole because the songs sound so similar, but the hooks are strong enough that it doesn’t really matter. Instrumentally, the vocals are decidedly pop with some well-placed autotune that is never indulgent. There’s definitely a little bit of that Chainsmokers pop vibe at times, but the singing is honestly just a lot better. The backbone of each song seems to be a strong melody over a strong synth driven groove. Guitar is present, but more like an auxiliary paintbrush adding some texture to a painting that more or less is already complete.
A R I Z O N A is on tour with COIN at the moment. COIN is successful for many of the same reasons that A R I Z O N A is getting attention at the moment, so I think that’s a perfect match. Expect the band band to also make lots of grand impressions on festival stages across the country this summer.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/323297887″ /]