Sometimes, you just wanna dance to some funky pop songs about sexual tension.

With their sophomore album, Young Love, Biscuits & Gravy secure their spot as Boston’s horniest pop-funk balladeers. The album’s message is clear: young love is raw and turbulent. Their first album, Hello Weekend, featured similar adolescent observations and fantasies: “(Girl Are You A) Freak” and this time, it’s more of the same. The first lyrics vocalist David Huddleston sings are, “Have you ever seen a girl so fine / blows my mind with the sexy ways / drives me crazy touching me.”

Technically, Young Love is a tight 8-track album that sounds good on laptop speakers and subwoofers alike. It’s cleanly produced, as any pop record should be.

But more than that, Biscuits & Gravy is a gut band. They don’t make thinking music; they make music that makes you move. They make forget-about-last-night music. Young Love is about universal feelings—about not caring enough, about caring too much, about finding the heart to move on.

With that, I’d like to offer how each song makes me feel—music’s most accurate and only compass.

How each song makes me feel (plus some other comments):

“Girl So Fine”

Instantly catchy, skintight, horn-driven funk. One of the best songs on the album.

Feels like: playing hookie from work and going to the beach with the girl you’re into.

“Down With You”

“Down With You” has an eighties, straight-ahead rhythm with simple lyrics, “Let me get down with you, down with you, down.” It’s the type of song that if it had a video should feature a finger-snapping mob materializing from alleyways and coffee shops, with unlikely participants—garbagemen, neighborhood cops, bums.

Feels like: enthusiastically joining a flashmob.

“Heartbreaker”

“Heartbreaker” is the single for a reason. Try getting the chorus out of your head. It’s also the one Sound of Boston premiered in June. The various instruments—guitar, horns, drums, bass—spiral into their own melodies and regroup at the perfect times.

Feels like: a shot of whiskey to get the night going.

“Gravy”

“Gravy” is a short interlude and an instrumental extension of “Heartbreaker.” It doesn’t pack nearly as much of a punch as the song before it, and feels like an afterthought.

Feels like: walking up to a girl at the bar and garbling your words.

“Twenty Five”

“Twenty Five” stands out with its hip-hop backbeat and rap verse. The lack of horns makes the song feel bare compared to others; you want them in the chorus, but they never come.

Feels like: cruising down Main Street with your boys but then getting pulled over.

“Shine”

One of the more downtempo songs on the album, “Shine” hypnotizes with gliding horns, synth soundscapes, and echoey vocals.

Feels like: you’re on a plane, ascending into the northern lights.

“Turn My Way”

“Turn My Way” follows a popular formula for writing a catchy song: an instrument plays the melody of the chorus in the first few bars (in this case a vibraphone sound) so that the listener already knows it by the time the chorus comes around. It’s not a new strategy, but it sure as hell works. As Swedish mega-producer Max Martin (of Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Backstreet Boys fame) once said, “Once the chorus comes, you feel like you’ve heard it before. And you have! You’ve heard it in the verse. It automatically creates a sense of familiarity.”

When Huddleston sings the chorus for the first time—“So just turn my way / turn my way / turn my way”—the first-time listener can already sing along.

Feels like: having the bartender know your order without saying anything.

“Real Talk”

The last song on the album, “Real Talk” sounds like an urban lullaby : “Real talk is in the streets / it’s what you breath / please stomp your feet for me if you believe it.” Complete with a bluesy saxophone solo that could be from a Billy Joel song and a fuzzy layer of vinyl noise noise in the background, it’s a song that reminds us young love is often melancholic.

Feels like: standing over a steaming manhole cover as a siren wails in the distance.

Want to check out the album? You can find Young Love on iTunes and Spotify. Read other Sound of Boston album reviews here.

Album Review: Young Love by Biscuits & Gravy
Pros
  • Tight band; singer David Huddleston’s voice is Bruno Mars-y in his raspy energy.
  • “Girl So Fine” and “Heartbreaker” are some of the funkier songs I’ve heard in awhile.
  • I’m a sucker for horns.
Cons
  • Vocal melodies start to sound similar from song to song.
  • The “Gravy” feels like an afterthought.
7.5Skintight Funk

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