Django Django – Marble Skies Album Review

Story posted January 31, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Jenna Minnig

The British indie rock quartet, Django Django, dip into the pool of mainstream music on their latest electronic release, Marble Skies. The band sets out to appeal to a larger audience on this album, utilizing distinct and familiar musical influences from the 70s and 80s. Comparisons between bands like Depeche Mode, a-ha and Electric Light Orchestra to the electronic tracks on this record and the similarities are nearly impossible to miss.


Despite the obvious inspiration for some of the musical sounds on Marble Skies, it is difficult to label the album with a single genre. Django Django’s creative strength of working with a multitude of styles makes this an innovative release in the band’s discography. However, when speaking in terms of the current landscape of music, this album is merely another typical indie rock record with a few catchy beats that’s experimental for the band, but not in the context of the greater musical landscape.


Although Marble Skies struggles with standing out in the grand spectrum of indie music, Django Django should be credited with the adventurous direction they took coming off of their 2015 album was a massive letdown for fans and critics. The album titled Born Under Saturn explored a collection of genres, but was packed so heavy with diverse instrumentals that it ended up being overkill to the overall experience of the album. Marble Skies is the happy medium with a tasteful use of synthesizers for a more enjoyable listen.


The intentions of the band are clear on this release. They set out to create a work that is exciting and different while maintaining their lively sound. However, Django Django falls short of crafting something new or fresh. While the contents of the album are extremely upbeat, entertaining and at some points even risky, the album is unsuccessful in its efforts to be different for the album as a whole. After several listens it tends to drift off into a pattern of instrumentals and beats that any music fan has heard time and again before.


What this record does accomplish is a fun sound. It is obvious that one would want to classify this as a dance album because of its memorable beats that deserve a nod of the head or a foot tap at the very least. The title track, “Marble Skies,” is easily the most impressive and notable song with its evident influences from a variety of bands from previous generations. Without dense lyrics, it is easy to digest and enjoy. While the lyrics don’t convey any apparent meaning or purpose, it’s understandable given Django Django’s experimental attempts of the record, though not necessarily excusable. The record’s simplicity makes it more suitable for background music rather than an active listen.


While Django Django failed to release a significant or noteworthy album this year, Marble Skies at least succeeds in being a pleasant listen. For listeners who have never experienced electronic influenced rock music before, this is a suitable place to start. It is not littered with varying computerized instruments, but the vast arrangement still allows for new followers to be entertained without being overwhelmed. It is safe to say that Django Django will likely continue their experimentation with different genres of music on upcoming releases, though hopefully, they come through with a more refined and adventurous experimental offering next time around.

Rating: 6/10

 

Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email at jkm5756@psu.edu.