Released in 2008
-by Wade Tangelo
-courtesy of Creative Loafing
If lo-fi synths and high-drama lyrics turn you on, then 30-something singer/songwriter/keyboardist Jeremy Gloff is your man. For his umpteenth DIY solo release (he started issuing discs at a rate of about one per year in ’93), Gloff goes into Boy George mode with a collection of gloomy club thumpers featuring titles like “Mistakes,” “All These Killers” and “Armageddon Sex.”
“This new album is a tribute to the music I loved growing up,” Gloff writes in the liner notes. And to his credit, every lyric is sold with the passion of a true believer, even when relating a tale about a bad boy dubbed “drama panties.” 3 stars.
-customer review courtesy of Amazon.com
I actually bought this album quite a few months ago, but have put off reviewing it simply because I wasn’t quite sure how to convey the enormity of what Gloff has accomplished here. Growing up in the 80’s myself: I can appreciate the genuine love and affection for those early synth-laden dance tracks. After all this was the era of Madonna, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Prince and the whole Minneapolis sound. But a singer/songwriter paying homage to those groundbreaking artists by recording an 80’s-styled dance LP? Talk about a recipe for disaster (with plenty of cheesy kitsch to go around). And yet Gloff’s risk taking is what makes 1987 so astonishing insomuch that he doesn’t just pay tribute to the 80’s (and the artists who influenced him): HE ACTUALLY EMBODIES THAT ENTIRE ERA. From the authentic drum machine beats to the funky keyboard hooks: this is the sound of an artist in full bloom. And the songs! Although some are sexy with an air of risque fun (“Lights On”, “Beautiful Boy”): he does one-up Prince in the sex-equals-spirituality department (the lyric “Our bedroom an alter/and your body is my shrine.” from “Lights On”) while copping a “1999” ode to “Armageddon Sex”. But since it’s Jeremy Gloff composing the songs you get more than just frivilous lyrics made to order for a “sexy party” (to quote Stewie on “FAMILY GUY”): you get several thoughtful, down-to-earth ruminations on the ins-and-outs of modern love. From the simple character sketches of “Boyfriend” and “1987” to the hilarious “Drama Panties” and the oh-so-beautiful ballad “Don’t Forget Her”: this is more than some tossed-off, hedonistic record that you can bump-and-grind to. And even though this is not a typical Gloff release: these dance tracks are enlivened all the more by those wonderful Gloff melodies filled with neat little touches here and there like the percolating hooks of “Good Feeling”, the squishy synth-horns that dominate “Beautiful Boy”, the tropical groove that highlights “Clap Yo Hands”, the “Bye bye, baby, bye bye/Sayonara, sucker!” attitude of “Florida Rain”, and the gorgeous vocal chorale at the end of “Love Alive”. I could go on and on. But the last and most convincing triumph of “1987” is Jeremy’s singing. In the past Gloff has been criticized for his sometimes wispy vocalizing which can hamper his songwriting skills (a problem that occured all too frequently on the ORANGE SONGS). With his previous release, NOW’S THE RIGHT TIME TO FEEL GOOD, he turned in one of his strongest vocal performances yet. But with “1987” you could almost say he has reached full maturity as a singer. By making the most of his middle/lower range, and continuing to wring every bit of emotion (and humor) out of his songs: he comes across as warm, inviting, and totally in control of his vocal timbre. Definate kudos to him here. However, for those not familiar with Jeremy Gloff I would still recommend you buy the aforementioned NOW’S THE RIGHT TIME CD as it is more typical of his work. But if you’re in the mood for some great dance music, grew up in the 80’s, or want something fun and funky to listen to: then by all means get this album as quick as you can. It’s a one-of-a-kind classic. Another BIG plus: cover art is killer!
HIGHEST BILLBOARD ALBUM CHART POSITION: None.
HIT SINGLES: None.
-by Matthew Rettenmund
-courtesy of boyculture.typepad.com
Jeremy Gloff was kind enough to send me his new CD, 1987, with the understanding that if I hated it I wouldn’t plug it. He even said I could throw it away. I almost did! I’m pretty set in my ways. But then again, the album is themed to the 365-day period that happened 21 years ago, so I shouldn’t be so surprised that I really kinda liked it. It’s very authentic to the era, reminding me of the slightly off-decade Cause & Effect (they were so 1991…and one of them, tragically, has died, don’t get me started on a Debralee Scott-esque eulogy again.) It also reminded me of the song “No Condom No Sex” for some reason and, of course, Peter Wolf’s “Lights Out”. Gloff’s video for “Lights On” is below, but I think the album track “Armageddon Sex” is my fave.
-by J.J. Vicars
Fans of Techno, Electronica, etc… will of course like this album -it easily stands on its own alongside its contemporaries- but what sets it apart from the pack is that it’s a *must have* for anyone who was a teenager back in ’87. Gloff is a strong songwriter utilizing many of the era’s characteristic writing devices to capture the mood and feel of the times. BOYFRIEND starts off the album the way we used to gear up for a Saturday night. Songs like LIGHTS ON, GOOD FEELING and FLORIDA RAIN recall the radio hits of the time while ARMAGEDDON SEX epitomizes the reckless abandon we all felt living under the threat of the Cold War. LOVE ALIVE is the soundtrack to a movie scene- that scene of aimless drifting right before the movie’s climax. If you grew up with FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, THE BREAKFAST CLUB and PRETTY IN PINK you’ll feel it too. The crown jewel of the bunch is the title track. If you were in high school in ’87 this is YOUR SONG.
With some encouragement from former Prince protege Jill Jones (featured in the videos for 1999 and Little Red Corvette) Tampa’s Jeremy Gloff embarked on his own ’80s-styled bubblegum pop and electro adventure. Powered by a cheap drum machine he bought at a “way-off-the-radar” pawn shop on Florida Avenue, Gloff’s new 1987 is witty, theatrical fun. (Standout cut: Drama Panties).