Chip Music, Reviews

Sophomore Slump? G&J’s Beautiful Lifestyle (Review)

June 9, 2012 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Sophomore Slump? G&J’s Beautiful Lifestyle (Review)on Twitter

In 2010, chiptune duo George & Jonathan knocked our socks off with their debut The Best Music. They quickly followed this up with a cute holiday album, The Best Christmas.

But the official follow-up to “The Best Music” was their November 2011 release “Beautiful Lifestyle.” How does it compare to their debut? How does it compare to the rest of the awesome chip music out there?

After the jump, do the finger waggle with us. We’re going in-depth on this sophomore release.

The album’s hilariously hyperbolic tagline goes like this: “George & Jonathan taught you how to walk. George & Jonathan taught you how to dance. George & Jonathan taught you how to look nice. This Fall, let George & Jonathan teach you how to live.”

I gotta give props to G&J for their fantastic sense of humor, and for throwing some sweet rings on their trademark hand-with-pointer-finger-up logo. That’s how you get your finger-waggle on with bling-bling.

However, it is this reviewer’s opinion that Beautiful Lifestyle isn’t quite as “best” as “The Best Music.” I dare say G&J knew this when they titled the second track of this album “The Next Best Thing.” Of course, this title has two meanings. In one interpretation, it means “this is the best thing that came after the previous best thing.” In another interpretation, it means “the second-best thing.” For me, I have to say, it is the latter. I just love “The Best Music” so much, it cannot be topped. It was, after all, our favorite chip music release in 2010.

So what … does that mean Beautiful Lifestyle is G&J’s “sophomore slump” album? Not at all, and by no means!! Maybe they couldn’t outdo their debut album, but they sure as hell can continue to make music that plenty of other artists surely envy. They have this seemingly supernatural ability to just touch a simple melody or rhythm with their magic finger and suddenly *BOoM!* it’s transformed into a party in an mp3 file. “The Next Best Thing” and “Burning Up Inside” are hot. Dance hall hot. And then, if you’re looking for sick, glass-shattering breakdowns, check out “New Haircut.” Orchestra hits and incredible use of split-second full-cut silence make me smile.

However, this album also has a few gimmicky/novelty tracks that I could live without, like the 50 second “Music,” or the 2 minute “Dubstep Daycare.”

The album’s closing track, “One Hundred Lifetimes,” is the longest on the album, at 3 minutes and 40 seconds. The whole album falls just under the 30 minute mark. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, but it does leave a lasting impression, and this finale track really does seal the deal nicely. It’s as if G&J are saying “hey guys, don’t worry, we’ll be around for years to come. In the meantime, let’s just groove out.”

If you missed the album as part of GMB3, you can pick it up via bandcamp for $5. In the words of that annoying kid that pressured you into trouble-making activities during recess: “DO IT!”

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