Sunday, September 15, 2013

André Cymone - Survivin’ in the 80’s

Following his 1982 debut Livin’ in the New Wave (click here for that review), André Cymone returned to the studio for his follow up. This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Survivin’ in the 80’s

Side one opens with the title track and lead single. “Survivin’ in the 80’s” features a mid-tempo groove and makes commentary on the social and political landscape of the time. Cymone reflect upon it being a time of plastic cards (racking up credit) and plastic people (caring more about appearance than substance).

“M.O.T.F.” stands for “man of the future” which Cymone definitely was with his varied experiments with electro-funk music at the time.

“Make Me Wanna Dance” was released as the second single, with an instrumental version of the song as the B-side. The rhythm definitely makes me want to hit the dance floor and get boogie down.

“Love Dog” paints Cymone as a player who romances many women at the same time with no regrets or shame.

Side two begins with “Body Thang”, a funky-synth festival of physical attraction.

“Stay” slows things down a bit with a sultry, seductive overture.

The B-side to the first single was “What Are We Doing Here”. The lyrics talk about going through the motions on autopilot without consider the purpose behind those actions. He does not seem to provide any answers though for he is just as lost in the fog as the rest of the population.

Things close out with a little encouragement. “Don’t Let the Future (Come Down on You)” reminds the listener that they can survive the uncertain times if they try. The title and its delivery sort of recall Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Come Down on Me”.

Having become a Prince fan in the early 80’s, I ate up everything that came out of the Minneapolis music scene. Anyone who was affiliated with the artist was someone I checked out. I first heard some of André Cymone’s tracks on a local R&B station in college back in the mid-80’s.

Flash forward another twenty five years when I added this album to my digital music collection. Survivin’ in the 80’s very much has an 80’s sound which can make it come across as a bit dated. But, if you are like me and enjoy that period of R&B dance music, this one is a cool trip back to the neon lit, fog-machine fueled club days of that time.

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