Poolside with Dan Hartman/ Yah Mo
While all this talk about the “sunny” / “shimmering” summer musiques seemingly pouring out of all cisterns of the world, these writers are forgetting to mention what it is truly rooted in – something Simon Reynolds dubbed post-pop or massive statements made by the New Romantics or club jams turned upside-down, put to nap, and stuffed with feathers. I’m loving the bulk of it – if a bit derivative over the course of a full-length (I’m looking at you jj) – and just wish these groups would succumb to careers filled with 12” singles, chalk up six of ‘em, and be done. But we’re also forgetting another element of Poolside bliss – a genre of ‘80s pop. If John Hughes soundtracks can dominate one end of the spectrum, then the other side must be inhabited by what? Huey Lewis/Kenny Loggins ultra-slick, over-processed, faux-blue-eyed-soul-cum-e-street-bombast? When digging through the Poolside crates this summer I stumbled upon a mixtape made in the late ‘90s I dubbed the “My Two Dads Mix,” including such mellow hits as Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey,” Moody Blue’s “Your Wildest Dreams,” and two particularly ubiquitous songs from the ‘80s that most of us seem to have shoved back into our subconscious. Namely Michael McDonald’s “Sweet Freedom” and Dan Hartman’s “I Can Dream About You.” Both songs seem to ooze with station wagon vacation n’ beachside plastic euphoria – the eternal muzak of flip-flops and capri-suns, and/or sandy floormats and coppertone. This was certainly pop, just made by old white men for Billy Crystal/Gregory Hines fueled vehicles and lobster lunches in sweltering July. Surprisingly these, regardless of their fluff factor, sit well next to Madonna and MJ or any danceable UK import that was burning up the charts. Where are the British in this beach/romantic revival?
Bonus -- How about a little Rod Stewart (Beach Version)
Sub. Ref. poolside