Over a year ago, I wrote a review of the then-newest TWRP (Tupper Ware Remix Party) album, ‘Ladyworld.’ While writing that, I realized something; TWRP moved into the spot of my favorite band without me even noticing.
It was a subtle take over, usurping the likes of Theory of a Deadman, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a few other candidates, but the fact is TWRP is everything I love about music. They have almost exclusively upbeat jams, featuring a mix of 80s synth funk, with a new age twist, and it’s a style that just plain works. ‘Ladyworld’ may be my favorite album of all time.
Or at least it was.
‘Together Through Time’ is the newest full length album by the Canadian funk group and it takes everything ‘Ladyworld’ did and improves on it.
Head up High: The first track, which is just 1:19 long, again gives those who may be new a good feel of the band. It is just classic TWRP.
Synthesize Her: TWRP has nearly perfected two types of tracks, those being the laid back lounge groove, and the upbeat techno-funk track. This one is the former. They also have an uncanny ability to mesh real instruments with their synthesizer sounds, fully on display in this track. The funk bass twang in the backdrop of the chorus is just the right amount of a more natural sound. This is also the first song from the album that had a video made for it.
Phantom Racer (feat. The Protomen): There are a few songs on this album that have more of a story behind them, as opposed to just being a regular song. This is one of those tracks. This ballad, featuring the Protomen, follows the story of the Phantom Racer, who is on a quest for blood, and to win this race, not stopping for anyone. The music backs up this feel, as shortly into the song, the drum beat kicks into gear with a smooth guitar line, and all of the sudden you are the Phantom Racer, speeding down the track like your life is on the line. The song fades into a nice slow down near the end to hit a beat of the triumphant Phantom Racer emerging from the crash, then revs up again at the end. If this song does not make you want to blast it while go-carting on a bright sunny day, I don’t know what will.
Our 4fathers: As much as I love TWRP, a lot of their best songs need a feature from another artist. All of my favorite songs by them have a guest of some kind. TWRP, on their own, is honestly best when their songs don’t have lyrics, which is by no means a knock on them. They make really nice beats to just vibe to, like we heard on the last album with ‘Food Bar.’ No story to tell here, just TWRP being themselves, which is never a bad thing.
Life Party: Something else we’ve seen from TWRP on the last few albums are a couple up-beat jams, not only in music, but in message. On ‘Ladyworld,’ we had the title track as well as ‘Body Image,’ which both feature a really nice positive message. Just look at the opening lyrics of this song:
Have you ever thought
Of our place in the stars?
How lucky we are
Have you ever thought
Of the sheer improbability
That you were born?
That I exist?
That we can even question this?
It’s so positive, it’s cheesy in the best possible way. The world needs more positivity.
Take Care of U (Lydia Persuad): This song is such a throwback. You could have told me this came out in 1983 and I would have absolutely believed you. The synth is just right and the instruments are perfect, and it isn’t until TWRP adds in their brand of funk that you can tell this is a new track. The vocals of Lydia Persuad are incredible and fit the throwback so well. This is my sleeper pick for best song on the album.
Tactile Sensation (feat. Planet Booty): This is my favorite song of all time.
Okay, that is a slight exaggeration. Slight. This is the definition of everything I love about music. This song seriously just slaps. With Planet Booty (if that isn’t the most 2018 name for an artist) on the vocals, it just does nothing but kicks. If this song was made by a mainstream artist, it would be on every top-20 chart from here to California. This would be the song of the summer. If ‘Cake by the Ocean’ by DNCE ascended top the next level of music, it would be this.
Disco Volante: This is a shorter track with no vocals, which is again, solo TWRP at their best. There’s a really nice slow build to the popping guitar hook mixed with the synth sound we all know and love. Set your training montage to this song.
Starlight Brigade (feat. Dan Avidan): This number is another one with a story to tell, and also features the vocals of Danny ‘Sexbang’ Avidan. Danny, along with the jams of TWRP, take us through the adventures of the Starlight Brigade, which starts as a group who know the tales of the Starlight Brigade and looks to seek them out after finding a ship idling in space. By the end of this journey, they ARE Starlight Brigade. This adventure through space ends with our band of misfits becoming the heroes they sought out to find. The music backs that up too, and Avidan’s vocals are nothing but excellent. This is so different from any other TWRP-Avidan cross over. They have previously just done jams that make you want to go on a nice summer drive in a classic convertible, but this makes me want to know more about the Starlight Brigade. It’s an epic fantasy adventure wrapped up in a funky jam by two of my favorite artists.
The Perfect Product (feat. JP Incorporated): This song is bizarre. It sounds like a commercial, and that is almost definitely what they were going for. The song talks about, well, the perfect product! It’s perfect for your family, and you’ll love it! What it is remains a mystery, but it’s perfect for you! This song reminds me of the end of Bo Burnham’s ‘what.’
Pets: ‘Pets’ features TWRP’s up-beat funk, but with a more melancholy meaning: His pet died. There are lyrics about how an owner will meet his pet again someday, and how they were best friends. It’s a relatable track, and features a message a lot of us can appreciate. It’s cute and sad at the same time. It’s an interesting message to convey over TWRP’s upbeat sound, but it fits.
Strike a Pose: This is TWRP at their most vintage Daft Punk, which again, is never bad. There isn’t anything particularly notable about this song, but not every song has to be ground breaking. This is TWRP. This is how they started, this is their classic sound. Complimented by a killer sax solo in the bridge of the song, it’s just a classic TWRP jam.
Maximum Thrust: I’m hooked right off the first few key strokes. It just has that sound. As much as I love lyrics in my music, there’s something to be said when the lyrics just fade into the background because you’re so into the music, and that’s the definition of this song. TWRP makes songs that invest you with the lyrics, and also ones to put on in the background, which I mean in the best way possible. Sometimes I need music to work to. This is that song.
Feels Pretty Good: I could take a nap to the beginning of this song. I picture just laying on a calm relaxing beach, while a live music act somewhere in the distance plays at some bar. This song eminates the emotion the title portrays. It just feels pretty good. Why do sax solos compliment this kind of music so well? This is the perfect ending track to this album, because the album leaves you, at minimum, feeling pretty good.
Overall, this album is incredible. It features both classic TWRP, with songs like ‘Maximum Thrust,’ with a lyrical and musical adventure in ‘Starlight Brigade.’ Several of these songs, as did several on ‘Ladyworld,’ will make it into my normal Spotify rotation.
The full album can be purchased on Bandcamp and is available on Spotify.