By request. Mark Freeland didn't put Buffalo, NY on the map, but within the city and it's environs in the 1980s (and beyond) he ruled, and was the closest thing Western New York had to Frank Zappa or Prince. Truth be told, Freeland rarely sounded specifically like either of those visionaries at any given moment, rather his dextrous, DIY pastiche of trendy-ish '80s pop, funk and rap was intricate enough to entice more sophisticated ears, but also bore real accessibility as well. In addition to his musical endeavors, Freeland was a renown local painter with colorful multimedia skills that spilled over into the two Electroman records I'm sharing today, not to mention the music he would produce thereafter until his untimely death from cancer in 2007.
1982's American Googaloo (perhaps a nod to American Graffiti) packs not only punch but ample groove, with party-down, R&B inflections colliding with less emphasized forays into synth pop. "I Am Everybody," boldly sets the tone for the entire affair with a funk underbelly, pitch-shifting vocals and Sugarhill Gang-esque throwdowns. "Beer Makes You Smart" is as jovial and anthemic as you might imagine, "Payday" is a horn-enhanced ode of sorts to being perpetually broke, while the disco-paced "All I Want to Do is Bang," makes for a fittingly frenzied basher to close things out.
Come followed four years later offering longer songs, and intermittently, the incorporation of muscular guitar tones. A greater reliance of samples is evident, as well as an apparent affection for the likes of early Run-DMC. In fact, there's a number of hip hop-centric pieces here - "Family Feud," "I Dig New York," and the altogether amusing "Macaroni and Cheese," a playful riff on the simple pleasures that inadvertently arose from the era of Reaganomics. "The Cathy Song" is a gaudy, but fun power ballad in the vein of Meat Loaf, and "True Love" boasted Freeland's increasing melodic chops with near-grandiose aplomb.
If you're intrigued by either of these platters, do check out Mark Freeland's Electrospective 1976-96, a handy twenty song summation of his recording career.
01. Cowboy's of Scotland
02. I Am Everybody
03. The Vegetarian Song
04. Beer Makes You Smart
07. All the Things I Would Do For You
08. My Baby Got a Thing For Me
09. All I Want to Do is Bang
01. Girl Power
02. The Cathy Song
03. Family Feud
04. The Day You Came Into My Life
05. Macaroni & Cheese
06. True Love
07. I Dig New York
American Googaloo: https://www33.zippyshare.com/v/GyxE6kXC/file.html
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