June 26, 2021 — We all have artists we enjoy. Some become part of our life soundtrack, with each new album providing both anticipation and joy. After stumbling upon her cover of Laura Branigan’s ‘Hot Night’ a few years ago, Roxi Drive became one of those artists to me.
I could go on about the extended remix of that amped-up 80s tune. However, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to provide our readers with a full review of Roxi Drive’s new album which I have had the privilege to enjoy for a couple of weeks already.
“No matter what song listeners might be enjoying from Feel the Beat, Roxi Drive and SelloRekt expertly capture the essence sound of the 80s.”
The charismatic artist recently struck us hard with a pair of excellent single releases in the form of an authentic-sounding cover of ‘(I’ll Never Be) Maria Magdalena’ and ‘Dancing with Me’ single, but she clearly was not done yet. On June 25, she dropped a remarkable eight-track album titled Feel the Beat, featuring the musical talents of SelloRekt.
Revisiting Good Times
If you are familiar with Roxi’s upbeat style, her new album’s first track won’t come as a surprise. ‘Take My Chance’ does not redefine the genre, instead playing off Roxi’s expected style for a soothing and excellently performed opening number. The track sets the stage for Feel the Beat as Roxi remains true to her signature vocals while SelloRekt delivers on a blend of synthesized guitar and head-bopping beats. While ‘Take My Chance’ speaks to hopeful lovers, Feel the Beat’s second song ‘Shame On You’ carries an entirely different message — of betrayal and broken hearts. These are common themes among Roxi’s discography, and they hit home time and time again, drawing us in with an intoxicating, sometimes almost hypnotic rhythm — always in a good way.
‘Don’t Let Go’ may be the weakest track on the album, but that is not saying it’s a bad song. One song has to be overshadowed by the other seven tracks, and ‘Don’t Let Go’ just does not present any remarkable deviation from ‘Take My Chance’ and ‘Shame on You’. Even the track ‘Wait for You” teeters on sticking to a very distinct style, its poignant synthesizer tones launching the composition while remaining scattered throughout in an effective manner that helps express the emotion Roxi carries throughout the song.
Picking Up the Energy
By the fifth track, ‘Say You Miss Me’, Roxi and SelloRekt throw on the funk and really pick up the energy. There is a clear shift in tone and tempo from this song forward, as if at some point while recording the album, the artists underwent an emotional transformation. The vocals of ‘Say You Miss Me’ struggle to keep up with the synthesized track, but Roxi steals the show once again with ‘Never Find Another’, one of the strongest tracks on Feel the Beat. Between Roxi’s electricity and the expertly produced music, listeners will have a difficult time not hitting the “repeat” button. ‘Never Find Another’ calls back to the rock ballads of the 80s, relying heavily on an electric guitar for an impactful sound. At the chorus, you can feel the vocalist’s emotion pour over the mic as she very clearly gives it her all.
OUT OF 10
THE GOOD STUFF
- Roxi’s passion and vocals are genuine, the singing both beautiful and intoxicating.
- Majority of album tracks are memorable, well-balanced synthwave compositions.
- Feel the Beat is surprisingly diverse, songs cover all moods.
- One or two tracks might have benefited from a little more speed.
- 8 tracks are not quite enough. We want more Roxi Drive!
The album closes out with two highly different tracks — ‘Amplitude’ and ‘1985’. Whereas the former has more of a digitized and darker feel to it, the saxophone introduction of closing track ‘1985’ immediately lightens the mood and leaves you with uplifted spirits and a bright smile on your face. ‘1985’ embodies the decade, leaving you feeling carefree and inspired. No matter what song listeners might be enjoying from Feel the Beat, Roxi Drive and SelloRekt expertly capture the essence sound of the 80s. If you grew up during the age of Duck Hunt and slap bracelets, this album of eight tracks is likely going to send you spinning headfirst into a sea of audio nostalgia.
Feel the Beat is available in physical vinyl, cassette, compact disc, and mini-disc formats on Roxi Drive’s Bandcamp page. More of Roxi and SelloRekt can be heard at the Yesterwave Spotify playlist, including Roxi’s latest singles, ‘(I’ll Never Be) Maria Magadalena’ and ‘Dancing With Me’.