Willy Moon’s debut album brings an old sound to modern recording tactics. Hopefully we won’t be joking around and asking “Where’s Willy Moon?” next year.
Interscope Records, 2013
5.0 / 10
Willy Moon is the stage name of New Zealander William George Sinclair. Many have been waiting to hear his debut album, Here’s Willy Moon, since “Yeah Yeah” premiered in May of last year. The single features a sample of Wu-Tang Clan’s“Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin ta Fuck Wit”. It was rereleased in September of 2012 to coincide with an Apple commerical featuring the single. Prior to the commercial, Willy posted “I Wanna Be Your Man” to MySpace way back in 2010. He went on to work with Jack White III at Third Man Records who helped produce singles for “Railroad Track” and a cover of Cher’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”.
Willy is a self made artist who recorded his entire debut himself, learning how to make music along the way. He’s quoted as saying, “That album is the culmination of pretty much every waking moment of my life for the last two or three years. If someone were to ask me what I did from 2010 to 2012, I could literally give them that record and be like ‘This is what I’ve done.'”. Willy is a greenhorn to the music industry, which works in his favor. His music takes advantage of rock & roll chord structures over hip hop beats and breaks. The fact that he’s only recently been creating songs is evidence that anyone can make music if they’re truly focused. Unfortunately due to this newly created identity, rather than just enjoying the music for what it is, I found myself ripping apart the album. The “It’s not you, it’s me” mentality only goes so far as a reviewer, but I’ll try to maintain that thought process moving forward.
Pop music is an interestingly defined term that’s meaning changes from person to person. Wikipedia defines it as a genre of popular music which originated in its modern form in the 1950s, deriving from rock and roll. I tend to agree with the site’s information on most occasions, even though its pages are user created and maintained. In a way Wikipedia is the Pop dictionary for most people under 40 nowadays. In tandem with that tasteless metaphor, Here’s Willy Moon is indeed a Pop album to its core. It’s easy to enjoy if you don’t think about the music too much and let the good times roll. In spots it seems to drag, though you never have to wait very long to get back into a good vibe.
Most tracks average around two minutes in length, and include fluent changes in timbre. Willy’s simplicity and electronic drums are reminiscent of Andrew W.K.’s I Get Wet, while his singing style brings thoughts of Amy Winehouse minus the drug addiction. It’s a bit like how Weezer reignited that 50’s/60’s rock sound with “Buddy Holly” in the nineties. Hopefully Willy Moon can continue to grow as an artist and learn from his experiences to make an even better album next time around.
When a layman decides to make music, most of the time it doesn’t turn out too well. Cue Rebecca Black rantings here. Fortunately Willy Moon is by no means average. I just think the album itself could have used a little more guidance in its recording and subsequent mixing. Some of the imstruments used seem alien to each other, which is probably due to Willy creating a lot of these tunes on a computer. His live performances feature a band with a drummer, guitarist, and DJ. They help bring a new life to the songs, and I hope Mr. Moon uses their talents on his next project. For now I’d say check out this album and develop your own opinion. Once you’ve decided whether you love or hate it, check out the live set. You might notice a change in how you feel about the music. Don’t worry, this just means you’re human.
Purchase: Willy Moon – Here’s Willy Moon