Before I even knew the Electrolightz were releasing an album, I saw them on a remix. That remix changed my opinion of a song and begged me to play it while I was still spinning in DC. Their funky and flashy take on Lady Gaga's "Telephone" was a drastic improvement upon what I felt was a tired production and a track I knew I would get tired of quickly. Their mix production was fresh, engaging, and kept people dancing while it was playing. Rather than building on a lot of elements of the original, the Electrolightz rebuilt the track from the ground up and made it their own. That's the hallmark of a talented producer when it comes to remixes, and so when I saw that the Electrolightz had an artist album, I jumped at it. Of course, at the time I wasn't aware that Electrolightz was less a remixing outfit and more of a four-piece electro/hip-hop group based out of California. Interesting what directions different lifestyles can take you, because hip-hop is not something I'd expect from the guys who did that "Telephone" remix.
The fact of the matter is that It Happened Overnight plays like a mix of Kid Cudi/Far East Movement, Discovery-era Daft Punk, and 3 Speaker High/Galleon style male-fronted house music. The production and beats are lush, supporting anything that may happen to lay on top like one of those foam mattresses that conform to your body but spring back up when you leave. The summer stylings of "Written All Over Your Face" are a perfect example. The track makes so much sense when it begins, just the pure electronica before any vocals kicks in, and it sounds great. Then a filtered singing voice chimes in for a few measures before the rapping kicks in, and each phase of "Written All Over Your Face" comes across as the best way to represent the song. But instead it all ties together as a great electro-pop track with a rapper on board. An extended of this cut would slide into most mixed sets without a problem and may even cause a couple of people to ask what you're playing. "The Weekend" falls nicely into this mold, but the rest of the album doesn't match the feel of "Written All Over Your Face," not exactly. But it's not a bad thing.
Electrolightz, thankfully, understand how to pull off an emotional track. Unlike contemporaries Far East Movement, Electrolightz handle the track "I Love You" sincerely, and while there is some rapping in the track, it isn't out of place or unwelcome. The singer does an admirable job of conveying his emotion, and the track supports it in its production which is both driving and pensive. The "Wet" remix Electrolightz supply at the end of the album features a stronger dance vibe and heavier beat so you can shake while you emote. "Love You Electronically," conversely, thrives on a freestyle vibe with trance synths that hearkens to mainstream radio yet lacks the throbbing dance beat that would typically accompany it. It is a different track than "I Love You," not only in styling but in lyrical content which includes current web and phone tools. "Centrepiece" is also a great example of the emotion of a track coming through. While "Centrepiece" is a little heavier than "Love You"/"Electronically," with a deep swing beat and growling synths, there is still a sense of emotional wonder that ripples through the track until the whimsical ending.
"Slippin'" is a more aggressive pop track with a great vibe to it and
challenges the other tracks to take it down. It is strong in both
sung and rapped content with an ample hook and catchy instrumentation.
"Miss Outta Control" mostly misses the mark, in stark comparison to
"Slippin'." It sounds as if Electrolightz tapped Jason Nevins to
produce the track, it is faster and just as standard as any Nevins
mix. It lacks strength and replay value, but makes for good
background fluffy music.
The album feels so short. What they do, they do well, and after
listening to the album it's no surprise I immediately enjoyed
Electrolightz when I heard their remix of "Telephone." But I am
definitely left wanting more, and that's a compliment as well as a
criticism. When your formula works as well as Electrolightz does,
your album should be longer than 9 "3 minute" songs. I know you've
got it in you, Electrolightz, so let it out and show it off!
Released October 2010 on Electrolightz Music.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy