After waiting avidly for what felt like close to a decade, Chester French have returned and reunited, crafting a delectable sophomore slump-less outing for brand new album 'Music 4 TNGRS'. Chester French, consisting of ex-Harvard duo D.A Wallach and Max Drummey seemed to be absent from the reach of fans for an extended period in time as well as each other, as the two had been working on a number of separate projects; leading many (like me) to believe that an amicable announcement of a split was on the cards for the Pharrell and Jermaine Dupri endorsed pairing.
The title and theme of the album are an ode to the duo’s teen years, as the two wanted to create a sound that was very reminiscent of the music they loved during that time. The end result is an incredible melting pot of musical styles, which actually makes the album impossible to categorise into simply one genre. Lead single "Black Girls" is a great disorderly pop-rock song, while album opener "Next Big Thing" and "Just Another Guy" flirt heavily with synthesizers. However, D.A plays the nerdiest yet smoothest incarnation of R. Kelly type freak-ism, on album stand-out "Drop", a baby-making anthem for hipsters everywhere. The song in fact wouldn’t find itself out of place on a Lonely Island album, which is an entirely good thing.
D.A stated in an open letter addressed to fans that the two were keen to deliver “a pure, honest and creative body of work” and the album does just that. The amount of time between 'Music 4 TNGRS' and predecessor 'Love The Future' released in 2009 has turned out to be a blessing, as Chester French have found a comfortable musical niche in a different league to most other bands that are currently making music.
Thankfully, Chester French have chosen artistic integrity over an album full of mainstream radio-friendly "hits". I still have R. Kelly/Lonely Island infused 'Drop' on repeat, in which D.A tells his girl that he’ll “put on some Ren & Stimpy while you’re getting skimpy”. Easily the best line on the album.
Key Tracks: Next Big Thing, Drop, Maybe Next Time