ALBUM REVIEW: "Invitation" by Dominant Legs
Dominant Legs has the perfect instincts when it comes to '80s retro-pop: rather than sounding like a faithful recreation or that band that just never caught a break, Invitation sounds like a modern pop group roped in their favorite classic pop producer. There’s elements of dial-surfing from the last great age of radio here, with frenetic clean, chorus-y guitars and synth and falsetto galore. “Hoop of Love” (the album’s lead-off single) manages to recall Springsteen’s “Cover Me” without feeling dated or overblown. It's representative of most of the album, but there’s also fuzzed-out lo-fi (“The One That You’re With”) and a short but sweet ballad (“Calm Down”) to round out a tight set.
Though the background could easily be mistaken for a 25-year-old recor
d, Ryan William Lynch’s vocal quality falls squarely in the Adam Duritz–Connor Oberst–Win Butler continuum. Lynch has a vulnerability and quaver that are far removed from the cold, dispassionate delivery of many dance-pop singers from the '80s, and that extra ounce of heart is Invitation's greatest strength. There are times you'll feel nostalgic and times you'll feel like dancing, but you'll definitely feel the whole time you're listening to this record.
Check out the video for “Hoop of Love”: