Album Review: Dragonette Invite Everyone To Dance in “Royal Blues”

Dragonette’s fourth studio is a confident, blazed trail into the heart of pop music. If you are not a fan of the genre, that is unfortunate, because Dragonette are everything that is right with it. From synthesized dreams, anthemic rhythms, and a celebratory approach to life, their new record Royal Blues is about the euphoria of being alive. 
Royal Blues is an album for when you want to feel good about life. I am convinced that, for some, their hatred of pop music comes from its blissful approach to love and even heartbreak. Pop is one of the only genres that can make you do full, dance choreography to themes such as cheating, addiction, and self-doubt. Yet, that is what makes the genre fantastic: it ignite physical catharsis. Royal Blues does not disappoint in said catharsis.  From the first song “Let The Night Fall”  Dragonette makes a proud introduction to their listeners, “We are about to electrify pop like it has never been before”. Of course, everyone has that same initiative, but this Canadian group are seasoned in their musicianship/ kinetic energy. They know what works and what does not, of which Martina Sorbara’s voice WORKS!

Sorbara is a glam queen of pop anthems. In songs like “Body 2 Body” and “Sweet Poison” her voice feels like a firing confetti cannons over a youthful club. As you twirl about the club, all yo can do is watch the colorful paper cutouts and glitter come over you as you like sone rhythms taking over your spirit. Her vocals prove exactly what I love about pop; its ability to make heartbreak sound like a delicious hiccup in your life.  She makes songs like “Love Can’t Touch Me Now” and “Lonely Heart”  feel like empowering odes to a person’s freedom from a past relationship. Thus, turning the pain and anguish of a love turned into loss feel like you are popping a tasty tart into your ears. A humorous analogy on Sorbara’s vocal edibility, but the songstress does have a voice sound like a sonic lollipop; it is childlike in the sugar rush it offers you, but then zooms into a juicy center, of which you need your teeth to sink in and delightfully enjoy. The singer can go from sweetly charming, innocent annotations to a powerful high note that summons you to use your spiritual “teeth” and get to the center of your love woes. Moreover, she can do this all in one song like “Future Ghost” and my favorite “Royal Blues”. 

Personally, I feel like like pop gets a “bad rap”, at times, for it superficiality or lack of lyrical depth, but Dragonette, in many ways, is like a modern, Millennial version of the Shangri-las. Like the 1960’s dark pop group, they may pour delectable beats over the darkness of love, but that does not mean they avoid it. In songs like “Darth Vader” and “Save My Neck” they catch listeners off-guard with a subtle rock/ 80’s techno bassline that is welcomed for its bouncing friendliness, but then absorbed for its truthful resonance; some relationships do not bring salvation, but instead become something you need to be saved from. The analogy is laced with pop culture sounds and references, but is universal in a truth that is often avoided. At times, people enter relationships thinking they will be healed by them, but as Sorbara sings, you, eventually, learn that you have to cut that person off to “save your neck”.  Their intentions were to harm more than ignite healing, but such intentions show you that healing yourself must come from yourself.  Hence, the empowerment of Dragonette comes through by teaching that the death of one relationship is only the rebirth of a newer, stronger you. For More Information On Dragonette and to buy Royal Blues  Click Here.