Music Review: The Knocks - '55'

From Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed to John Dorian and Chris Turk, we're big fans of interracial friendship duos here at Eight Screens. So it's only natural for us to give knowing head nods to Ben "B-Roc" Ruttner and James "JPatt" Patterson, otherwise known as The Knocks.

Nearly five years in the making, 55 is The Knocks' full-length debut. In fact, most of these songs had already been released in full, which is kind of how the Bible came out when you think about it.

Since you're reading an electro-pop dance album review (probably) during the work day, my guess is you have a laughably short attention span. So let's go track-by-track on this one.

New York City ft. Cam'Ron

God bless Cameron Giles. To this day, he raps as if he was placed in cryogenic sleep in 2005 and woke up when the beat came on just now. 4.5 stars


This song finally answers the question, "What would happen if Fatboy Slim hung around a church choir for long enough to consume a pallet of Mountain Dew cans?" 4 stars

Classic ft. Powers

This is the 2014 summer dance party single you've almost assuredly heard before. And, like Twizzlers Pull 'n' Peel, this one is still just as good as the first time. 5 stars

Kiss The Sky ft. Wyclef Jean

The weight of Wyclef's name has eclipsed his magnetism as a musician at this point. If you can make it through the prolonged Savage Garden-sounding opener, there may be a satisfying conclusion for you on the other side. 2.5 stars

Dancing With Myself

If you don't occasionally dance alone, vibing flawlessly to songs like this, well thanks for reading but there's the door. Also: saxophone solo. 3 stars

Comfortable ft. X Ambassadors

This is a good example of accessible semi-trance music. The water might seem too cold, but just dip your toes in the genre and test it out. 3.5 stars

I Wish (My Taylor Swift) ft. Matthew Koma

Clever SEO strategy here. 3.5 stars

Collect My Love ft. Alex Newell

Alex Newell takes this disco track to another level. The Glee alum (had to look that up) has me ready for tear down the sale rack at Old Navy. In a good way. 3.5 stars

The Key

The vast majority of Knocks productions are collaborations, so we pay special attention to songs with no features. Who are they, when left to their own devices? Spoiler alert: pretty good. 3.5 stars

Tied To You ft. Justin Tranter

It's a shame Justin Tranter's voice isn't as showstopping as his look. To be fair, that's a lot to ask of one person. 4 stars

Love Me Like That ft. Carly Rae Jepsen

Unabashed Carly Rae Jepsen fan here. E•MO•TION is one of my favorite pop albums in recent memory. No, you're the crazy one.

As you can imagine, I anticipated track #11 with the same nervousness one might approach once-a-semester homerooms where you sit by the girl you like. Unfortunately, my mind was so wound up I failed to realize this song has been out for a while now, and I've heard it probably 50 times. Still great! 6 stars

Cinderella ft. Magic Man

Big Magic Man guy, too, if you can believe that. Unfortunately, Alex Caplow's voice doesn't naturally lend itself to a dance track. Certainly not a wasted effort, but these two groups combine for less than the sum of their parts. 3.5 stars

Purple Eyes ft. Phoebe Ryan

Was hoping Killa Cam would sneak on here for some purple rhymes. Other than that, pretty good song. Sounds like you just an outer space video game with a female heroine. (Not something I can confirm—never quite finished Metroid Prime.) 4 stars

Blast For Last ft. Walk The Moon

Walk The Moon, forever ingrained in American wedding reception culture, fit very nicely with this song. There's a good fusion of styles here, without and square pegs mashed into round holes. 3.5 stars

Classic ft. Fetty Wap and Powers

It seems as if the main reason this song exists is so that people familiar with the original can drunkenly make eye contact on the dance floor and be like "wait is this Fetty Wap?" 4.5 stars |ES|

MusicTimreviews, dance