It’s all still in the family, but the “five” of Family Force 5 have now morphed into a power duo—however in this instance, a reduction in personnel doesn’t mean a loss in overall quality. The Brothers Olds—Jacob and Joshua, to be specific—offer a new name and chapter from the “Kountry Gentlemen” days of old, now simply calling themselves FF5 on the EP El Compadre (buy). Hinting that there would be some sort of change by “going dark” on social media several months ago, FF5 reemerged early this year with lead single “Fire On The Highway,” and things have been speeding along ever since. El Compadre exhibits the same fun-eighties-dance-pop that have endeared listeners to the Atlanta crew from the start, but there’s an added sophistication, if you will, to this “new” sound. For example, “Sweatband” boasts the same cutesy-goof hooks from back in the day (a la “X-Girlfriend,” “Chainsaw”), but there’s some serious nods to the likes of Prince, The Time, mixed with a Michael Jackson “Thriller”-vibe executed to subtle perfection. “Tiger Night” (feat. Mr. Talkbox) rivals Justin Timberlake‘s “Cant’ Stop The Feeling,” while opening track “Out Of This World” and “Stardust,” complete with Pharrell-like vocals throughout, pave the way for a more groove-oriented, dance hall direction that are easily inserted into any playlist or house party.
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