Let me preface this review with this: I know little about electronic music. I'm working with basically Daft Punk, a little bit of Justice and Deadmau5, Air, and Hot Chip as my main references/points of comparison. However, I look at this as a good thing because, with electronic music, I either love it and dance my face off to it, or am entirely uninterested. But, I've heard great things about this album, so I thought I'd check it out. So, a little background, for both you and me. Digitalism is a German electronic duo formed in 2004 by Jens "Jence" Moelle and İsmail "Isi" Tüfekçi, and I Love You, Dude is a follow up album to their first release, Idealism (2007). According to my research, this group is basically the bee's knees in hipster-land, performing at all the big festivals (Coachella, SXSW, Ultra Music Fest, Lollapalooza, etc.) with a killer, in your face live set. Needless to say, I was excited to have a listen to the bromantically-titled album. Another note, this album has been out digitally since June 21st, but the physical album drops today, so get you can get your greasy mits on your very own copy.
Fortunately, I Love You, Dude is an album I can dig and bust a move to (ch-check). It brings plenty of throbbing bass, but balances it with enough treble sounds to not make me feel like an privileged white kid awkwardly riding dirty in a lowered cadillac. The treble sounds, furthermore, are interesting and varied--crescendoing laser beams, chirping swirls, scrunched, grungy riffs. The punky moments of wavering bass and distorted vocals add an extra rock edge that I personally love and feel makes this album all the more accessible. The drum beats are skilled, so much so that I find myself debating whether a drum machine or real set is being used. If I had to compare this album to, say, a Hot Chip album, let's go with One Life Stand, Digitalism is a lot dirtier--more distortion, much thicker, dancier, and more repetitive beats--where Hot Chip is sharp, clean, detail-oriented, and clever. Much like my NewVillager/White Denim dichotomy, with Digitalism's I Love You, Dude, I simply want to dance and feel, where with anything Hot Chip, I want to listen closely and dissect the nuiances...then dance. My apologies that this turned out to be a Digitialism v. Hot Chip debate, but that's right where the album led me.
Anyways, as a whole, I dig the album. It's got a whole spectrum ranging from quick dance jams ("Forrest Gump" would probably be my choice for stand-out track) to slower sway and flow songs ("Just Gazin"), along with plenty of loveable spunk. If you like to dance, groove, head bob, or any form of feeling a sick beat, you'll definitely enjoy this album.