nice harmonies
falls just short of a like
the clip, a good example of sometimes why music should be heard, not seen
other than live performances of course

Grade - 1.6

released June 7th, 2011

from the album - Nothing But Our Love - 2.0

from all music


With an ear for Brian Wilson-esque harmony, the irreverently named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. swirl indie pop, folk, and electronic elements into one breezy package. Based in Detroit, MI, the duo of Joshua Epstein (also of the Silent Years) and Daniel Zott came together in 2009. Working out of a basement studio, the pair worked to create a sound that is danceable without sacrificing anything in the songwriting department, merging intricate and airy melodies with solid programmed beats and synth atmospherics. Their hard work bore fruit in 2010 when they released their debut EP, Horse Power, on Quite Scientific. That same year, the pair was also tapped to do a remix of Mobyís ďWait for Me.Ē In 2011, the duo released their full-length debut, It's a Corporate Word.

Album Review

On Itís a Corporate World, Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. make good on the promises made on 2010ís Horsepower EP with an album of bittersweet, electronic indie pop. Filled with layers of vocal harmonies, downtempo drums, and innocent melodies, the pairís full-length debut makes for an interesting summer record, tempering that carefree summer feeling with an underlying sadness. This makes for a record thatís not so much for the beach as it is for those odd rainy days spent inside, hoping that the weather breaks. Lending to this feeling is how wonderfully understated the songwriting is. While the band is most definitely a studio project, theyíve managed to avoid overcooking the album. The songs are assembled in such a minimal way that everything seems to really matter, with every detail lovingly put into place with a knack for melody that evokes Paul Simon and Paul McCartney, combing the two icons' styles beautifully on songs like the breezy ďSimple GirlĒ and the titular track ďItís a Corporate World.Ē This simple construction allows the individual elements of each track to shine through, giving things like the gentle, thumping drums and lonely synthesizers of ďNothing But Our LoveĒ to stand on their own for the listener to appreciate and absorb rather than being lost in the mix under five-dozen tracks of swirling electronic wizardry. This kind of restraint has become increasingly rare in electronic music, where the amount of layers that can be added to a song is only limited by time and imagination, but itís crucial to Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.ís charm, which might have been lost in a busier album. With such a terrific combination of depth, melody, and out-and-out charm, Itís a Corporate World is the perfect summer jam for anyone who spends more time wearing headphones than swim trunks.

Track Listing

1 Morning Thought Epstein, Zott 3:35
2 Nothing But Our Love Epstein, Zott 4:05
3 Skeletons Epstein, Zott 2:18
4 An Ugly Person on a Movie Screen Epstein, Zott 3:12
5 When I Open My Eyes Epstein, Zott 4:14
6 Husbands (Interlude) Epstein, Zott 0:55
7 It's a Corporate World Epstein, Zott 2:53
8 Simple Girl Epstein, Zott 2:22
9 If It Wasn't You... Epstein, Zott 3:49
10 Vocal Chords Epstein, Zott 3:52
11 We Almost Lost Detroit Jackson, Scott-Heron 3:20
12 The Fisherman Epstein, Zott 2:50