Album Review: Delorean Gray's - Star Tropics

Delorean Gray’s forthcoming album, Star Tropics, is an outer space psychedelic pop odyssey, filled with heavy synths and catchy beach vibes. The debut album from former Fake Flowers frontman, Jacob Chisenhall, follows his dreamy alter ego Delorean Grey on his latest adventure to the vacation planet of Hokkaido IV with his chrome bikinied love interest Clare.

Chisenhall is universe building, creating characters and narratives, with this latest release. His use of trance-inducing synth and dream pop melody lines create a palpable world where it is easy to get lost. Hokkaido IV, a vacation planet, is a playland for Grey and his latest love interest before things go awry.

 Photo by Betsy Gonzalez

Photo by Betsy Gonzalez

The album’s first track “Little Pad” is a jungle beach instrumental that sets the scene for the rest of the album. Our protagonist then comes to with a “sunrise in the afternoon” trying to decipher what is real after his space acid trip. Before Grey knows it, the chrome bikini-clad Clare and himself are staying up all night with a bossa nova groove on the track “Beachfront Bossa”.

As the record proceeds, things turn out to be not what they seem. Soon the duo is having to escape from the clutches of the aristonauts, a corrupt oligarchy that pines for complete control of Hokkaido IV.

Star Tropics takes cues from a wide range of influences; The Beach Boys, Japanese city pop and the smooth jazz of the Weather Channel. However, it’s also reminiscent of The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots with its use of heavy synth to create an immersive experience for the listener. While the latter relies more on their rock n roll chops, Star Tropics takes the experience in the direction of a lazy day on the beach eating acid with your robot girlfriend.

 Photo by Betsy Gonzalez

Photo by Betsy Gonzalez

The record sets a lofty goal for a debut record, a conceptual romantic outer space odyssey, and in many regards, it succeeds. Musically the synth beach landscapes are beautiful, but there is little edge in such an amorphous project. It does get weird and the weirder, the better in a sci-fi romance. The key to thoroughly enjoying Star Tropics is putting your headphones and staring at the stars. The further you can let your imagination go the more you’ll enjoy the record.

The album release show for Star Tropics is scheduled for January 26th at 529, Delorean Grey plays alongside Michael Myerz, Shepards, and Palm Sunday. Follow Delorean Gray on Instagram and Facebook for updates and purchase his music on Bandcamp.