Poolside - Heat
Chill is a word that is thrown around far to often in 2018. It can mean a person, a place, a thing damn near anything can be considered "chill" at some point, but Poolside may just be the most chill of them all. Returning after six years with their follow up to 2012's Pacific Standard Time the LA based duo are turning it down to like 4 hoping to slide into some California style good vibes. Daytime Disco is a term that have been thrown Poolside's way for awhile now but they have never quite leaned in as hard as they do here. This is music for a specific moment in time, and pretty much for that time only. As their name suggests this album is intended to be listened to near the water, near some sun and near some friends. It has to have such a specific context to really work well that listening to it casually makes it difficult. I have seen Poolside many times DJ live and it's amazing; usually the sun is out or just setting and their slick grooves fit the atmosphere perfectly, but outside of that bubble they just don't have anything for you and I think they know that. That is why this album is so specific and direct, they aren't concerned with pop stardom and they never have been so playing tunes they like to listen to with their friends is the most obvious choice. It is also the easy choice though, we know Poolside can do music like this, and more of the same feels like exactly that, the same.
With music like this you would hope the lyrics can pull you out of the monotony but with track titles like "Summer Friends", "Heat" and "Tropical Heartache" I'm afraid you are out of luck. Poolside bring to mind some of their LA producing peers Classixx, but where Classixx pushes their music to the edge of their own sound Poolside always seems to be content right where they are. It is great to be in the moment especially in a DJ set, but when you try to translate that to an album it doesn't seem to work. At some point you have to throw up your hands and say "we get it you're smooth" and hope that the shift a little more to the House side of things but that never happens on Heat. It is weird to think of Poolside as hip dad music but that is where this record falls. "Heat is actually the one track where the pump the tempo a little, at least for awhile to give you a welcome dance break from the genlte grooves that have come before. However it is far to little far to late to save this record. I like Poolside, hell I still like Poolside, but this really is not that great of a record. Go see them do a DJ set, it will be much better anyway.
5.9 out of 10