Happy December! We are getting ready to start our annual year-end countdown of 2018. However, we have some great news to share first! Parralox has just released a new album! Holiday '18 is the 5th album in the group's Holiday series of albums. Hooray! It is released early this year, too!
What is exactly is the Holiday series? Here's your Pop History 101 lesson for the day: The Human League released a single/EP called Holiday '80 in, you guessed it, 1980. Now in the Holiday series by Parralox, most of the songs are cover versions, however, some are original. Most of the songs do not even have a seasonal holiday theme, but there are a few. Some albums are long. Some are short. You check out our reviews of the past 4 Holiday albums here ...
Here is our track-by-track review of Holiday '18:
1. Holiday '18 starts off with an interlude called "Daisy (Part 1)." This is a 41-second vocoder chorus of the classic song "Daisy Bell." However, more about that later on the last track (aka Part 2) ...
2. "Don't Change"
This cover the INXS classic is one of the many highlights of the album. John takes the lead on this and does a wonderful job. Both INXS and Parralox are Australian so you can tell there is much love and care to get it right. This has the goosebumps factor! Have a listen ...
3. "Be My Lover Now"
This was originally recorded by Phil Oakey (from The Human League) and Giorgio Moroder in 1985. This is called the "Dare Mix" with lots of elements from The Human League's Dare album. Again, John takes the lead and does a fantastic job of making this sound like a Human League track that never was. Glorious.
4. "Flash In The Night"
This song was originally recorded by the Swedish group Secret Service. We aren't familiar with the original, so we think that this is a lovely slice of synth pop. We think you will like it, too!
5. "The Black Hit of Space"
Originally a Human League song from 1980, which was the first track on the their second album Travelogue. It was pretty avant-garde then, and this is a faithful remake. Parralox loves those early Human League tracks!
6. "Sharp as a Knife"
Do not be confused this with the Parralox song "Sharper Than A Knife." This was originally recorded in 1986 by Roxanne Shanté, who was the original Parralox lead singer. This is a very fun song and John is on lead vocals. We love it! It should get you up and dancing!
7. "Heart Of Glass"
Yes! This is indeed a Blondie remake. This is the electronica chill version that you didn't know that you were missing in your life! Lead vocals are by the lovely Louise Love who sounds AMAZING here (as always). This is song that you want to hit repeat when it ends. So incredibly awesome.
"Lullably" is remake of the classic song by The Cure. This remake of the spooky classic is over 9 minutes long. Try not to get lost listening to it ...
9. "Time After Time"
No, this is not the Cyndi Lauper classic, but a song originally by The Beloved. This is another one that we didn't know. No worries, with John on lead vocals, Parralox makes it mesmerizing. It is very good!
10. "Daisy (Part 2)"
The last track was originally called "Daisy Bell" and it was written by British songwriter Harry Dacre in 1892. The connection to Parralox is that the song was featured in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey where the computer HAL 9000 sings it while it is being deactivated. On Parralox's website, John says it was the death of actor Douglas Rain (who provided the voice for HAL 9000 in the movie) that inspired him to remake the song with vocoder. The song is even dedicated to Douglas Rain.
We encourage you to click on the links in this post, listen to the album on Spotify, and download the music so that we help support artists like Parralox who give us so much wonderful pop music.
The songs on Holiday '18 will be put on our 2019 Poptastic Confessions Playlist on Spotify in January. They will also be eligible for the Poptastic Confessions year-end countdown for next year, too.
P.S. Check out these fabulous links ...
A Poptastic Confessions Interview with John von Ahlen of Parralox in 2015
Poptastic Confessions 7th Anniversary
Please like and share our links so that more people hear and buy the music!