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Friday, December 9, 2016

Holiday '16 by Parralox

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Parralox are releasing two new albums available on CD December 23, and digitally in January. First up in their "holiday" series (an album made up of mostly covers and inspired by The Human League's Holiday '80). This is the third year in a row that Parralox has done an album like this. Check out Holiday '14 and Holiday '15. And you might have guessed, the new album is Holiday '16. This time, it is all remakes — and most of them, we didn't know! John was kind enough to send us an advance copy for review, so here it is ...

Holiday '16 starts off with a remake of the Pet Shop Boys song "Flamboyant." This is awesome! The original version is great, and this is equally as fabulous. John does an amazing vocal performance here. You're going to love it! We do! Listen to Parralox's version here!

"Bring On The Dancing Horses" is the next track. The original was done by Echo and the Bunnymen. We didn't know the track, but we love this! John is on lead vocals here and he sounds amazing!

The next song is the sexy "Animal Reaction." Apparently the original version was in the movie Route 69. We could definitely hear this song being played in a dark, shady club! Therefore, we love it! John's vocals are very deep.

Up next is "Heaven Must Have Sent You Back To Me" originally by Cicero. We hadn't heard this song before either so it feels like a new wonderful electropop song. While John is on lead vocals, it is the first song on the album in which we hear the lovely Louise Love chiming in on backing vocals — giving us a taste of more to come!

"Face To Face — Heart To Heart" was originally done by The Twins. It is yet another song we didn't know! Shocker! And Louise Love takes the lead vocals on this one and it is quite nice!

Finally, a song we kinda knew the original! "A Question Of Time" was originally done by Depeche Mode. And it is a great remake as Louise sings lead, which is a bit unexpected as we kinda figured that John would sing it. It works out gloriously!

Another Depeche Mode remake comes in the form "Blasphemous Rumours." We remembered this song, too! It is nice to hear Parralox take it on. John takes the lead again. 

From Depeche Mode to The Human League, Parralox takes on the song "Louise" with you guessed it: Louise Love. This is a pretty faithful remake with some nice new subtle vocal arrangements.

Another remake by The Human League with "The Lebanon." The original single was a bit of departure for the League as it was rather guitar oriented and the lyrics were not about love. Parralox takes the guitars out and makes this into a full-on dance song. It is also the last time on the album that we hear Louise Love. But we will hear more from her on the next album Subculture.

We should just let you know now: The next three songs are also remakes of The Human League. However, they are all from the League's debut album Reproduction. We aren't all that familiar with the League's work before their smash album Dare. We just prefer the League with Susan and Joanne. Anyhoo, the next song is "Zero As A Limit" and John is back on lead vocals. It is a song we don't remember at all. This isn't our favourite, having said that it isn't bad. The pace goes a bit bonkers at the end.

"Almost Medieval" is the next League cover. And we remembered this one as it has some really nice elements. And Parralox has a done a great job with it.

"Blind Youth" finishes the run of League covers. Parralox has done another wonderful job of covering the track.

"When I'm With You" breaks the League streak as it was originally done by Sparks. We didn't know this one either, but John sounds great and we really like it. You will like it, too!

The album closes with "Bigger In America" originally done by Heaven 17 (which was made up of two guys who used to be in The Human League). And while we know some Heaven 17 songs, we didn't know this one. No surprise there! And we quite like it.

There you have it! Holiday '16 is out on December 23. If you would like it on CD, head over to Conzoom Records!

Parralox will also release an album of all original material called Subculture. We will review that in early January after our 2016 countdown.

Lots of great Parralox music to look forward to! For the latest news on Parralox, head over to their website and sign up for the newsletter! You also like Parralox on Facebook here. While you are there, don't forget to like Poptastic Confessions Facebook page!

Cheers then,