Jealousy by Keoki (Review)

Keoki’s sophomore album takes the best from the early ’90s rave scene and mixes it up with modern house layers.
Jealousy - Keoki

Normally I don’t get to review much dance music. As a reviewer for several Danish e-zines, it’s mostly hard-edged guitar music that somehow ends up on my desk. I get everything from pop-punk to hardcore to black metal and back again, but hardly ever any dance or even pop music, which makes it a little one-dimensional at times. So you can imagine that I was glad when the opportunity to review some American dance music arose. You see, I like dance music. I like it a lot.

In the early ’90s, Keoki found himself falling in love with the dance-scene that was coming to life at the time. He quickly became a DJ and had success at it. Moonshine Music — a Los Angeles dance label — got interested and signed Keoki as an ordinary recording artist, meaning that he now had to write songs instead of DJ’ing and mixing other people’s stuff. He released a couple of singles, one of which even reached number 3 on the Billboard Dance Chart, and gained some following. Shortly after, Keoki released his first album, Ego-Trip, which gained him quite a lot of critical respect.

Jealousy, Keoki’s sophomore album, takes the best from the early ’90s rave scene and mixes it up with modern house layers. On top of that is an influence from ’80s synth-pop floating around in the sound-picture. Vocally, Keoki has that sad/romantic feel that several singers in the ’80s had. One could draw the conclusion that Keoki has been listening to bands like Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode and Frankie Goes to Hollywood a lot lately. And speaking of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, there’s a spiced up version of the 16-year old classic “Relax” at the end of the album.

When Keoki hits the techno hard, you can expect groovy and funky bass lines, swirling and melodic synths, and pounding drum loops and rhythms. Jealousy might not be able to hold the attention of those dancing the night away on ecstasy, since it’s too mellow in places and therefore slightly undanceable, but it sure sounds good in my stereo. Yeah, I like it.

Written by Hans Jakup Eidisgard.

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