“LXLF” by Leonard Friend
Leonard Friend (a.k.a. Alex Feder, a.k.a. 1st chair Enrique Iglesias stunt guitarist) wants you to know that he loves pop. I mean, REALLY. loves. pop. I mean, he nearly lost it after Whitney died. I mean, he has vivid heterosexual fantasies while listening to Annie Lennox. He dreams of posthumously trending on Twitter, re-releasing his greatest hits, and coming back as a hologram. He also has expert skills with synthesizers and falsetto vocals, and he knows his way around a new jack swing beat like a wizened old record collector. His LXLF EP approaches Kanye West levels of geekdom over and desperation for the pop star lifestyle. Leonard Friend doesn’t mince words, he loves music, fame, Gatorade, sex, and Tylenol, in that order.
And why shouldn’t he? Pop has never been and never should be for the uptight. It’s a style best experienced by the reptilian parts of the brain deep within a club-induced haze. It should be salacious and unambiguous enough to incite outrage by churches and politicians. Musicality is a nice afterthought though, and fortunately. Mr. Friend delivers plenty of that. The accompaniment is overloaded with just as many details and allusions as the lyrics, whether it’s retro-futurism, Babyface-style funk, or rock/R&B hybrids borrowed from Pharrell Williams. It’s a little odd to see stuff so simultaneously brainy and unabashed, but whatever, there’s nothing to hide here but quality songs. Leonard Friend exists to make us all a little more at ease with ourselves.
22 OUT OF 27 TEETH
2013 Leonard Friend
Band website: http://leonardfriend.com/