Dana Jean Phoenix - Synth City
The much beloved synth siren Dana Jean Phoenix is back with her third, long-awaited full length album, “Synth City.” This collection of tracks is a powerful mix of dreamwave and synthpop - a true testament to just how amazing retro vocals can be when done properly.
Phoenix is a Canadian based synthpop singer known in Toronto circles as “DJP.” She isn’t your average vocalist – classically trained, and holding a degree in musical theatre, DJP also attended the hyper-famous Second City’s improv institute. (A set of pipes and funny too?)
Even if you haven’t listened to her previous albums, you’ve probably heard her stellar vocals before. She has been featured by numerous artists throughout various genres of synthwave – so much so that certain members of the community have come to call her “The Queen of Synthwave.”
This album is no different – “Synth City” features backing production from a litany of well-respected synth wizards such as Timecop1983, The Northern Lights, Highway Superstar, Robots With Rayguns, London Lazers, Till Wild, and The Amazing Mr. S. The result is a host of fantastic synth music backing DJP, and she doesn’t put that talent pool to waste.
The largely up-tempo “Synth City” swings through various synthesizer influences as the producers cycle through, with DJP acting as an anchor for the rest of the album. Her girly and sometimes sensual vocals shift through a range of influences as well, from hard 80’s pop (I.O.U.) and crooning love songs (Look To Your Heart) to what could almost be described as stadium pop (Synth City.)
DJP’s vocal range is impressive, to say the least – but more impressive to me is her range of pop styles. Listening to this album was like listening to the top 10 pop songs of the past 30 years – mashed together in one brilliant neon synthy splash.
DJP has created a really superb synth pop album here – and nothing is easy about vocals over synth music. This album isn’t one to miss – even if you’re not a fan of pop the synthwork here is superb.
Standout tracks: the incredibly catchy I.O.U. (Be careful with this one, it’s been stuck in my head for days.), Digital Life (RWR Remix), and Into The Future.