By Jordan Meehan
Dev’s debut album The Night the Sun Came Up is finally being released in the US and I recently gave it a listen. We’ve all heard her on a slew of pop and dance tracks, which have varied in their sounds, but what does Dev bring to the table on her own? Well lets break it down track by track and find out:
Getaway serves as a good intro track; it’s short, straightforward and lures you in. What’s interesting about this track though, is that about halfway through it completely changes and dips into a minor key, which is unexpected and interesting to say the least.
In My Trunk – This one is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album. In My Trunk is a perfect dance song with total club appeal. Packed with some power synths and fast beats and sleek, and heavy digitalized vocals, this song is both slightly hypnotic and energetic.
Me – Me is pretty much everything you would expect it to be: an autobiographical song detailing Dev’s past and talking about her present life. This track chugs along with a calm nature, kind of spoken chorus and what I perceive to be operatic voices saying “Me” over and over, and eventually culminates in a surprisingly great bridge, which ends up closing the track with some swelling electro.
Naked – This song is just irresistible. What do you expect though when you through Enrique Iglesias on a hot dance song? Enrique could sing Someone Like You and turn it into a hot dance song. The beat in Naked pounds while the lyrics are sweet and vulnerable. Definitely a highlight of the album.
Lightspeed – Another homerun of a clubbanger right here. Lightspeed starts out quiet and calm in the first verse and swells and swells into the first chorus before a massive beat drop into a pounding beat. This track only gets better from there, delving into another verse, which Dev spins out in a half sung, half rap manner reminiscent of Ke$ha.
Breathe – This track might be my favorite on the album; it’s straight up perfect dance pop: lighthearted lyrics, a fun chorus and an instrumental that flat out defies one simple genre. This song is an amalgamation of folk, dance and electronica. While the vocals on this track are also heavily digitalized, it all fits into the song seamlessly and adds to it’s club appeal.
Dancing Shoes – This song rivals Breathe for my favorite song. It’s such a mash up of different sounds but like the previous track, fit perfectly together. Maybe it’s the fact that this song is so different from everything that comes before it on the album in both sound and content that make it so enjoyable. It’s like a breath of fresh air from the previous pounding dance songs. Dancing Shoes is an innocent, light and happy song that is just impossible to dislike.
Perfect Match – This track continues the trend started by Dancing Shoes. It’s certainly not a dance song, but it’s still great in a sweet way. The verses are more stripped down and laid back, while the chorus reaches an appropriate intensity to give this track the Dev flair.
In the Dark – And with this track, we find ourselves back in dance pop paradise. This track is already quite well known, so there isn’t much left to say. What I do love about this song though is the saxophone, which really sets it apart from most typical Top 40 pop songs.
Kiss My Lips – This song starts out a little questionably, with a rap verse from Fabolous, which I think starts the song off with a bad energy that doesn’t quite flow with the instrumental. All is rendered right again though when Dev hops in and delivers a seductive chorus, which proves to be irresistible. Overall not a bad song, but would have been much stronger if it had been just Dev.
Shadows – I like this song quite a bit. While it feels like it would have fit better after Dancing Shoes or Perfect Match, as it isn’t quite a big dance song, it’s still a great song to anticipate the end of the album. Dev’s vocals are light and sweet and it’s hard to not just bop along with this song.
Don’t Hurt It – This is a great song to close the album with. Hypnotic vocals, fast beats and a dirty bass line, and not to mention a guest appearance from Timaland, make this song a trademark Dev song. While it sounds slightly similar to some other songs on the album, it’s still an undeniable dance song with it’s own flair and stand out traits.
Overall this album surprised me quite a bit. Admittedly I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Dev, who I’ve only really ever heard tacked onto a number of different pop songs, which have all been extremely different. Hearing her on songs ranging from Backseat by New Boys & The Cataracts to Hotter Than Fire by my favorite Swede Eric Saade, I certainly didn’t expect Dev to bring this kind of sound to the table. What’s interesting about this album is that it is so noticeably influenced by a slew of different sounds and genres and creates a sound that sounds so different but still so natural and unique.