Best track: lost in the game
click album cover to listen
Roxi Drive is back! Back with an "Electric Heart". This is the title of her brand new album and to sum it up in one word, its electrifying! I was blown away the first time I heard this, with headphones plugged in, eyes glistening, heart-pounding and mouth wide open. Let me tell you why. I am a huge fan of the 80s, especially its music, and when I talk about music, I mean hair metal, a guitar that just won’t quit and catchy synths to accompany it. ‘Roxi’ has not only captured the very best of the 80s sound and aesthetic, but she’s managed to give these tracks a real classic sound that is harder to come by in the more modern digital sounds of the scene.
I cannot begin to count how many times I’ve have had this album on repeat and one thing we try to do here at Forever Synth is pick a favourite, and right now that’s f**king impossible! For her second album, Roxi has collaborated with a couple of sick producers and musicians of the synthwave movement; each track has a signature touch from each artist; throw in the sultry, sexy and powerful femme fatale vocals of Miss Drive, and you've got yourself a heck of a trip back to the 80S.
Let’s kick things off with the melodic “Electricity”, here Roxi and producer ‘To Live and Die in LA’ team up to fuse together a mix of new retro and ‘Don Henley's’ – ‘Boys of the Summer’ vibes. It’s mighty fresh with subtle synths, that provide plenty of fuel to cast your mind to a much cooler version of yourself driving down memory lane, roof down to let your hair run wild all brightly lit by the best sunset somewhere in ‘88. “Electricity” is also track number 12 with a reworked version by ‘Diamond Field’ which has more of a ballad feel with a little more electric keyboard and piano in the works. You’ll love both versions of this track and both had me humming or singing along to them. A beautifully written song by hers truly.
Where would 80s music be now if it wasn’t chock full of stunning duets? It’s a good thing they played such an integral part to music back then and this element has been catered for on the album. In the second track titled "All My Dreams" Roxi and ‘KidBurn’ give us a real romantic ambience with both voices melting together perfectly. Their harmonies complement one another to such an extent that I have a pretty strong feeling they’ll revisit this area once more…and boy I hope they do to. One significant reaction I had to this song was having the overwhelming urge to get up, take my lover by the hand and spin us around on the dance floor, throw in some roller skates and you’ve just entered many films from the 80s. One can dream huh? It is such a beautiful song in that it is heartbreaking and bittersweet with a touch of long lost romance within the whole arrangement. It makes you dream such wonderful dreams.
“Breakdown” takes you back to the late 70s/early 80s period with disco elements. Fans of ‘Pat Benatar’ will warm immediately to this track as Roxi adopts a similar vocal sound to hers in this beauty, and this was surely on the cards when she’s one of Roxi’s main musical Influences. She really rocks her vocals immaculately throughout using deep and sexy tones…and from one lady to another…it gets the juices flowing! K.A.R.R. produces here with a set of pulsating and punchy synths. You’ll probably notice plenty of signature elements from the vast number of producers hired to add their take on synthwave.
There is one element within "Electric Heart" that makes me go absolutely bonkers, in a good way I should add. The heavy use of guitars in most of the songs. This album will appeal to the masses, and fans of the six-string might make the assumption that it could be lacking in this album, fear not! You get shed loads of those ‘too hot to handle’ guitar solos buried deep within the bridges and most choruses, she’s just let the divine instrument speak for itself.
Next Up is the Track ‘Breathe You’ featuring ‘Nebula Black’ which was initially released as a single earlier this year. Now, this tune has a little darker undertone to it, giving off a past meets futuristic synth vibe. Plenty of emotions are awakened with the ambient textures throughout the chorus. The lyrics are profound and haunting. Roxi’s stunning voice blends in perfectly with the sound of NB’s dystopian sharp and hauntingly stunning melodies. ‘Dangerous’ is another track you can bop about to with its italo disco twist. It comprises of softer, more-chilled synth tones that were produced by none other than the absurdly talented ‘Juno Dreams’. It’s in a similar vein to ‘Breakdown’ bar a slight tempo change.
Here comes My favourite track! Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, that I proclaimed I couldn’t pick my favourite due to the sheer quality of the track on offer here. However, if you were to point a gun at my head and force an answer out of me, I’d have to pick, ‘Lost in the game’ because oh my word, this track could very well have been recorded in 1987 herself! There’s a massive amount of 80s influence found throughout and I felt every hair on my back stand on end when I first heard this magnificent little number. Think ‘Madonna’ meets ‘Pat Benatar’ (once again) meets a conglomeration of many of the best rock gods of 80s glam metal. I cannot begin to explain how excellent the bridge solo by Ricardo DeAngelis is! The riffs are immaculate. If you’re one of those ‘shredwavers’ that like off the hook guitar solos with your synthesizers, this is most definitely a song you'll want to add to your playlists and I promise you that you will get to rock your socks off.
“Hot night” is yet another healthy portion of swinging rock with punchy synths and another champion guitar solo. Such an energetic tune that gets you, well…hot! Things get taken down a notch with the track, ‘Running Away’ with a dreamy and pop wave vibe. It fits well within the sort of soundtracks you hear in ‘Sixteen Candles’ and some of the teenage dreams of the 80s Bratpack films, reminiscing the good old retro days where the best songs made it to the big screens.
"Video Fantasy" produced by none other than legend-of-the-genre ‘Sellorekt LA Dreams’ is a fun and upbeat corker. Stick on your neon leotards (if you still have them and they still fit) and headbands! The high levels of intensity give you a real get up and go kick up the backside aerobic style! Much like the Team Sweatwave album released around the same time as Roxi’s. Just what the world needs as it grapples with a virus pandemic.
‘Nightwaves’ is yet another song I fell in love with it straight away. Jam-packed with dreamy yet dark ambience. Nightwaves was released to coincide with the release of David Iron's Horror Novel of the same title. This is another track produced by ‘Sellorekt LA Dreams’ adding some serious mystery and sexiness to proceedings. You’ll fall head over heels with its sensual synths, low-end vibration beats and the true sexiness in Roxi’s voice. ‘Automatic’ is the beautifully-produced last track on this compilation and it’s a little more modern when compared with the rest of the tracks on this well-rounded compilation.
The Passion and immense work that went into this alluring album Is outstanding and it’s exactly the sort of uplift the scene has been crying out for since 2020’s live gigs were all cancelled. Roxi puts so much heart and soul not just into this album, but in to her overall aesthetic. She lives, breathes and sleeps her creation. You’ll all find a little something to fall in love with on this collection, even those with a tendency to listen to the heavier stuff. It has all the properties required to take any 80s enthusiast on a one-way trip down memory lane with captivating lyrics, memorable phonics and sweeps. Roxi Collaborated with some of the most talented producers and musicians in the scene today (YORU, K.A.R.R., MicroMatscenes, DoomRoar, Kev Allen) for this album, each bringing their own take and direction into each song, from banging power chords to bold echoes and it’s brimming from start to end with an underlying twinkle. It is such a wonderful tribute to the best decade in living memory on the music front.
When comparing this to her debut album “Strangers in the Night” which had a more Dreamwave vibe to it, Roxi took it up a few notches and added some rockier elements to it, spicing things up with stronger vocals that come as close to ‘Kim Wilde’ and ‘Pat Bentar’ as you can get without actually listening to their discography. These were true legends of the 80s with a real edge to them and Roxi has truly gone above and beyond to stake her claim as one of the best tributes to these awesome artists with an edge. All in all, I truly recommend this wonderful love letter to the 80s that Roxi has delivered to us all. This vixen is going to treat us to so many great releases, such is her undying love for the decade and the synthwave of today.
a visual representation of the album:
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