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DEV || The Night the Sun Came Up

The Night the Sun Came Up
Label: Universal Republic/Island Records
Released on: September 20th, 2011
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Neil Miller, Jr.

After a string of leftfield singles with The Cataracs and a spot on Far East Movement’s “Like a G6,” California native Dev has finally dropped the album I’ve been waiting for all this time. But wait, this doesn’t sound like what I’ve been waiting for. What’s going on here? I thought this would be a record full of trunk-rattling bass, intelligently produced beats, and her signature sass. Instead, we’ve been delivered one of the most unbalanced pop records I’ve ever heard. My only question for Dev after digging into The Night the Sun Came Up is — do you want to be a singer-songwriter or do you want to rule the dancefloor?

It really is a travesty that this record is so hit-or-miss. Being helmed by more than competent production team The Cataracs, it was easy to expect an album chock full of the attitude she exudes on “Bass Down Low” and the killer bass hits you either loved or hated on “Like a G6,” which Dev guests on. While there are a handful of replay-worthy bass tracks, like “In My Trunk,” which is heavy on the low-end, and “Lightspeed,” which bites Afrojack’s knack for squelching synth riffs and a beat that could’ve easily been lifted from the Dirty Dutch label. Sadly, it’s what comes in between all the good stuff that really sticks out... and not in a good way.

Up until this point, we’ve viewed Dev as a future dancefloor queen. The potential she’s shown us from her first few singles (“Bass Down Low” and “In The Dark,” most importantly) is pop star worthy. So it’s confusing as to why The Night the Sun Came Up is crammed with dull tween-style pop like “Dancing Shoes,” Dido-style “adult contemporary” cuts like “Me,” and overall uninteresting cuts like album closer “Shadows” and “Perfect Match.” What’s even more perplexing is why The Cataracs felt the need to still outfit these tracks with as much bass as the more upbeat songs on the record. If you’re going to step outside of your comfort zone, it should be done completely and not half-assed. So if you want to play it mellow, don’t throw a bunch of bass in my face.

The Night the Sun Came Up was one of my most anticipated albums of 2011, until I actually got to check it out. If you’re in the same boat and you’ve been waiting for this record to drop, do yourself a favor and download the goodies from the album and ignore the rest. 

Reader Comments (4)

Hmmm. I actually would have given the album a 4 out of 5

1. It's a concept album from the title of the album to the sounds/melodies/beats, so I expected there to be some slower songs in addition to the upbeat ones.
2. I don't even know what to label it and which is a good thing for this album. It's nothing less than original as it composes of various genres which intertwine in various songs.
3. She isn't the best singer, but she's definitely not the worst, I actually like how she has her own voice. I never understand artist comparisons either, I could if the artist sounded exactly like or tried to mimic, but she does her own thing.
4. The only problem I had was the composition of the songs, I feel when put in a correct order they can make a drastic difference and the listening experience and the flow, which is my only criticism

Overall it's an unexpected move for her to make but was played very well. I look at it from a multidimensional perspective and the songs are both personal and fun. It may not be revolutionary or leave a lasting mark, but I wouldn't expect a legendary album from a street-chic hipster. Its just personal and fun enough to enjoy, but at it's core original.

P.S. I heard the album release date may be pushed a bit further because she wants add a few more songs. I just hope they fit the mold of the album

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOctàvion Novü

Well written response! The album has grown on me a bit since I wrote this review but I always go with my first instincts. I still think the album has a huge sense of unbalance and tosses around too many genres between each track.

When it comes to pop music, I'm a bit more critical because a. it takes a lot to churn out a consistently good pop album and b. the competition is heavy and allows for more comparison points than other genres. I really had high hopes for the Dev album and I wanted to fall in love with it from the start but the end result just didn't deliver the way I wanted it to. But if there's a different version to come with more tracks, I'd be willing to give it a second listen in hopes that those songs will flesh out the album a bit more.

Thank you for your response about the album//review, though! I always love hearing second opinions on the records I personally review, so keep reading and keep chiming in :)

September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Miller, Jr.

Very interesting review, but I have to disagree. Like the other poster commented, I think the album is intentionally unbalanced. When you consider the amount of club songs (there are like 4 I think) as opposed to the meaningful songs (I believe there are 3) you can tell the album was always intended to be more then just a club banger.

I could've done without the "miscellanious" songs (Me, Breathe, Take Her From You), and would've liked an album entirely composed of signature sass songs and meaningful ones, but at the same time I guess her biggest song yet "In The Dark" doesn't exactly contain a lot of "signature sass" and the miscellanious ones are necessary to avoid repetition. I think Dev is really talented but needs to readjust her focus and work on her lyrical skills to really succeed (her lyrics are either a huge hit or a huge miss imo).

November 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Not to worry everyone, this album is going to be heavily re-worked, if not almost completely re-recorded before it's eventual Spring 2012 U.S release. In fact, her next Worldwide single is called "Naked" featuring Enrique Iglesias and it's sassy.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNate

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