It’s time to have some fun, the craziest fun imaginable. Danish artist Dinner may not be a singer or a songwriter as much as he is an unhinged spiritualist that just happens to make incredibly danceable, ‘80s-inspired pop music. ‘Psychic Lovers’ sees Dinner usurp a grand bunch of ‘80s trademark traits, from eerie vocal deliveries to pumped-up, synth-driven musical backdrops.
The most distinct thing about Dinner is easily his aforementioned voice. It’s the most uncommon of singing styles, a menacingly deep, cartoonish croon and stands side-by-side with the vintage, sparkling production. On the first track ‘Cool as Ice’, the singer launches his upset bellows at the listener and the person that he refers to as “cool as ice”. His voice nips its way through the speakers even more oddly on the song ‘Wake Up’ as Dinner sings “I want to wake up in Paris with you”; man, this record is super-Euro.
You can tell that Dinner really does have that thoughtful, philosophical, ‘overlooking the world through a hotel window’ kind of thing going on. It comes up with a camp sense of quirkiness, a rootsy, European feel of exploration. There are probably a number of ‘80s one-hit wonders that the album is comparable to, and while ‘Psychic Lovers’ isn’t hit-after-hit, it’s definitely party-after-party.
Songs like ‘The World’ and ‘What You Got’ have a quaint masculinity to them, and those deep croons make for fun choruses, but along with a few other tracks, Dinner’s voice might be the only remarkable or memorable thing about these tunes. ‘A.F.Y.’ seems to be there to make up the numbers, but with all the syncopated heftiness of a cow’s heart, it fits in nicely, as opposed to a song like ‘Lie’, which is a pretty monotonous ballad.
‘Gone’ is a pretty fantastic song, it boasts what might be the catchiest chorus of the record, and that’s saying something. It’s the kind of chorus you’ve probably heard a million times before, but it’s just so expressive, and so therapeutically bizarre, and that’s always a good thing. Also, a special shout-out to the bonus track ‘Say My Name’.
‘Psychic Lovers’ is an easy album to love, and an even easier album to hate, but that’s just because the obnoxiousness of the uber-‘80s influence and Dinner’s esoteric vocals is seemingly intentional. Said obnoxiousness works as the album’s central nervous system, it’s its charm, and it’s its reason for existing. It’s amazing when a singer rebels against convention, with an unwillingness to conform, and that’s exactly what Dinner does here!
‘Psychic Lovers’ is out now via Captured Tracks
This Dinner article was written by Ben Malkin, a GIGsoup contributor