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.