Rainbow Arabia Boys and Diamonds
One could trace Rainbow Arabia's multifarious aesthetic to several origins, whether dancehall, '80s synth-pop, African highlife, Arabic disco, or any number of other realms, depending on the song snippet in question. In any case, the band's first full-length, Boys and Diamonds, renders discussions of genre pretty pointless—more than anything, it's a pop album, and a solid one at that.
Boys and Diamonds, coming on the heels of the Los Angeles-based husband-and-wife duo's two earlier EPs, features both cosmic, wayward jams and finely tuned pop tracks, some of which sound like guaranteed dancefloor fillers right out of the box. "Without You" and "Mechanical" are the most immediately infectious cuts, deploying huge melodies and infectious drum patterns with lean, measured production. Considering the assortment of sounds that Rainbow Arabia draws upon, the economical construction of every track here is striking, providing a hardened melodic core for Tiffany Preston's charmingly affected vocal to interface with.
It's the pop parts that stick out at first, but the more nebulous, sinuous tracks of the album's middle section, including "Papai" and the creeping "Jungle Bear," gradually reveal themselves as standouts on par with the catchier material. "This Life Is Practice" kicks off a strong closing trio of tunes riding sublime synth sequences, wrapping, appropriately, with a song called "Sequenced," which pairs Tiffany's forlorn wail with ringing guitar chords to hypnotic effect.
With Boys and Diamonds, Rainbow Arabia has refined its various sonic fascinations, incongruous though they may at first seem, into the band's most intriguing, inviting release yet.
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