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Dev - 'The Night The Sun Came Up'

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Dev - The Night The Sun Came Up

Dev - The Night The Sun Came Up

Universal / Republich
From “Like A G6” to “In The Dark," Dev has made her presence rather hard to ignore.  When “Booty Bounce,” produced by The Cataracs - who produce basically everything Dev does - initially came out, it got acclaim as an indie hit. However, the general populace didn’t notice and wasn’t prepared when the Far East Movement swept in. Lifting a small lyric from “Booty Bounce,” the Far East Movement catapulted Dev into the mainstream’s consciousness by giving her one of the most infectious hooks in a pop song in recent years.  “Like A G6” gave the singer/rapper a chance to shine, but who expected her to continue that unstoppable movement?  

Dev’s involvement with the music scene by that point was a given, but no one quite noticed until she started popping up everywhere.  She’s since worked with superstar dance producer David Guetta, as well as New Boyz, JLS, Demi Lovato, Timbaland, and Martin Solveig.  By the time her catchy-as-hell hip-shaker “In The Dark” dropped, Dev had rubbed elbows with half of the music scene.  Her loyalty to The Cataracs would remain, though, as the production duo worked every single track on Dev’s debut album, The Night the Sun Came Up. Dev's main focus on this debut album of hers is to show you exactly what she's capable of. Don't pigeonhole her, she isn't just “G6.” Or is she?

A lot of the gusto and appeal that oozed from her singles seems to be spread thinly over the majority of the album. The production also seems to suffer from being overstated and gives tracks like “In My Trunk” and “Lightspeed” a vibe that is both tired and pretentious. It seems like Ke$ha did this speak-sing electronic thing a whole lot better and with less unnecessary attitude. The Cataracs throw everything they've got into this album, so while “Lightspeed” feels like a greasy burger, it's still got some oomph to it. “Me” is the perfect way to sum up the album, as Dev sings completely about herself and her success and how, gee, you NEVER expected it, and how you just need to know her now. It puts a sour taste in one's mouth. It makes every word Dev raps, every lyric she sings, every chord seem somehow calculated. It seems disingenuous. I guess it was too easy to accept her in the fashion she presented herself that even a well-executed track like “Dancing Shoes,” which is honestly easy to love, sounds like a desperate attempt to prove her worth. If she isn't talking about drinking or partying or her “Bass Down Low”...well, it isn't her.

Swiftly moving through different styles

It isn't all bad, if you disengage your mind. Dev's magic mostly comes from The Cataracs, who breathe so much life into her. You can accept the tracks on her album as unique aspects of Dev's personality because of the variety of styles supplied to her. That she can vacillate swiftly between dark and slow (“Kiss My Lips”) to upbeat and punky (“Perfect Match”) to heady clubroom stompers (“Breathe,” “In The Dark”) to pop/rock angst (“Take Her From You”) and back again is, in large part, thanks to her talented production team. In the end it works out. While you may not necessarily connect with Dev, you can't deny that those involved create a varied and entertaining trip through their collective psyche. And in their defense, the album's opener, “Getaway,” has a neat little time change midway through that flips the track on you. Well done there, Dev.

Summary

At face value, Dev's debut album is at least little more than pandering to the mainstream. There are some interesting tracks that give us flashes of insight into the minds creating the works. Whether the credit goes to Dev or to her producers is uncertain but almost irrelevant, as long as you enjoy it. That being said, The Night The Sun Came Up is well-crafted, quality dance/pop. If Dev achieves another hit from it, I'll be shocked.  I grudgingly give it 3 stars, since I can't give anything between that and 2.5.
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