Love The Future (2009)
|Artist: Chester French|
A they, not a he, consisting of young friends D.A. Wallach and Max Drummey, Chester French seeks to prove that pop music can be at once challenging and accessible. And with the bracing, involving and always-surprising set of pop-art songs on their debut album Love the Future, the duo has made a bold statement that's as delightful as it is ambitious, an album informed by a great wealth of music that is poised to break barriers and set new standards.
Chester French's world is a musical universe in which everything's in play. The glorious "She Loves Everybody" mixes sensibilities equally drawing on Motown and power-pop. "Beneath the Veil" throws country twists into hip-hop aesthetics. "Neal" has echoes of swing, hip-hop and rock -- with a guitar break paying tribute to the genius and magic fingers of Les Paul. And "Fingers" is just your basic orchestral-pop with, you know, a lap steel solo. There's a curtain-raising "Introduction," and a couple transition pieces ("The String Interlude" and "Country Interlude") to help tie it all together and stress that this is, overall, far more than just a collection of songs, but a whole statement.
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Personnel: Andrew Bergman (bass violin); Steve Fiascone (cello, strings); Clara Kim, Robin Ryczek, Adrien Zitoun, Amy Ng, Sopen Shah, Eric Segnitz, Sharan Leventhal, Matthew Kan, Laura Krentzman, Marissa Lieata (strings); Nick Machen (saxophone); Matt Antonowicz (trumpet); Richard Tremarello (French horn); Barry Oosterwaal (trombone); Laura Meyer (tuba); Tyler Wood (piano); Damien Chazelle (drums); Jeff Hefler (timpani); Scott Fruhan, Mike Judge (background vocals).|
|Audio Mixers: Tyler Wood; Neil Pogue.|
|Arranger: Maxwell Drummey.|
|Harvard undergrads D.A. Wallach and Max Drummey are the duo Chester French, and their agreeably skewed debut album, LOVE THE FUTURE, is a quirky blend of indie pop with hip-hop, country, and easy listening influences. The duo mix styles and genres with Beck-like ease, and don't neglect the all-important hooks on tracks like "She Loves Everybody" and the ironic "Bebe Buell."|
Engineer: Daniel Holter; Kevin Arndt; Matt Tahaney
|Arts Entertainment(Explicit Version)|
|Habits Of Heart(Explicit Version)|
|Release Date : 04/21/2009|
|Original Release Date : 2009|
|Catalog ID : 001258202|
|Label : Startrack Music|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00602517969902|
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "LOVE THE FUTURE is tricked out with snazzy synth and string orchestrations -- and singer D.A. Wallach's high, elastic croon."
- "[T]heir major-label debut gets by on smarmy-smooth suburban-pop melodies, cheeky genre mash-ups and good bad jokes."
"We were trying to make the album an album," Drummey says. "What we tried to do is make something musically diverse but also unified. And we did the best job of that ever in the history of music."
Don't just take it from him. The band has already been lauded by the press with features such as Spin's Who's Next '08 and Rolling Stone's Artists To Watch. And take it from no less than Pharrell Williams, who signed the unclassifiable duo to his Star Trak/Interscope label after an early copy of the album, recorded by the two largely in a dorm basement studio while they were students at Harvard, was passed from them to his engineer, Drew Coleman.
"It's been a long time since I've heard a project teeming with this sort of musicality and originality," says Williams, the phenomenal artist/producer/trailblazer of Neptunes, N.E.R.D. and so-much-else fame. "You're going to watch history unfold with these guys. I feel it in my gut."
That works for Wallach and Drummey, who trace an aesthetic lineage from Beethoven to Brian Wilson, from Les Paul to Prince to, well, Pharrell Williams. They see walls coming down with a new generation inspired by innovative artists like Gnarls Barkley and OutKast.
Chester French -- subject of a signing battle that also included Kanye West, Jermaine Dupri and Jimmy Iovine before Williams closed the deal -- wants to be at the front of that movement.
"Hopefully our role in culture can be to stand for this moment in history where meaningless social and musical categories are finally dissolving," Wallach says.
The music backs that up. In discussion the two freely reference a sky-full of musical stars and constellations.
"A lot of people make experimental music. We look at our music as not being experimental, but being the result of a variety of experiments -- what we distilled from doing outlandish things, what are the best ideas," Drummey says.
It's a concept that coalesced over the course of the three-plus years in which the music was initially made, a process that began with a simple encounter of the two then-freshmen at a Harvard commissary.