DNCE – DNCE [Album Review]

After countless buzz tracks, a slew of flashy live performances, and a table setting EP, DNCE’s self-titled debut is finally here in all its pop-funk glory. Courtesy of Republic Records, the irreverent rockers’ 14 track album is an exciting display of high-octane energy coupled with a more nuanced take on popular music; a rather successful formula for their first full length foray.

“DNCE,” the aptly titled lead, is our formal but funky introduction to the four piece. Connecting the band’s insatiable party vibes with an addictive hook, the cut serves the whole well as it sets the tone for the gratification that’s yet to come. “Body Moves,” the effortlessly charming lead single follows with it’s easy grooves and outpouring of velvety vocals from frontman Joe Jonas but it’s overshadowed by the looming grandeur of track three, “Cake By The Ocean.” What hasn’t already been said about the unexpected hit that started it all? The nonsensical anthem that still reverberates speakers today sounds just as fresh as it did the first time you listened to it late last year.

Keeping that infectious energy streaming, pieces like the upbeat and dynamic “Doctor You” and the positively positive “Good Day” stand out. Both tracks nail their pop-rock riffs and runs while harmonies ebb and flow comfortably. Then things get really fun with the catchy-as-hell “Blown,” a throwback to that early 60’s Pop sound with a contemporary twist as the only feature on the album Kent Jones drops a few quick-hitting rhymes.

And while the uncomplicated vigor is maintained steadily throughout most of the album’s playlist, there are a few breaks in between. “Toothbrush” dips into the waters of sensuality as listeners can’t help but swoon over Jonas’ sensory undoing falsetto. Then tracks like “Almost,” with its heartfelt heartache, and the subtly smooth “Truthfully” highlight the more vulnerable side of the group.

But it’s back to the merrymaking for the remainder of the album. Caution is thrown to the wind on “Naked,” a bounce-fest that dares you to sit still. And once you’re on your feet “Zoom” retains the thump with its persistent high hat and strobing synths. “Be Mean” checks in with a seriously sexy pulse and subtle go-go beats which leaves us with my personal favorite and the closest thing to sonic perfection I’ve heard in a long while…“Pay My Rent.”

I’ve gone on at length about the awesomeness that is this crown jewel of pop-funk mastery but it bears repeating. A year and some change later and I still can not get enough of the undeniable bass and compelling hook. Maybe in another twelve months, but you’d be wise to take the over.

On DNCE, the fearless foursome have put the fun in funk with emphatic gusto, proving their charm and appeal are no fluke. This musical introduction is an exciting venture for the newcomers and should certainly be welcomed by fans and critics alike. Stream below then grab your own:

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