Happiness is nostalgic, starry-eyed and idyllic. Sonically influenced in equal parts by yacht rock like Christopher Cross, Doobie Brothers, Toto, and charming electronica like Mike Ink, The Orb, Oval, Border Community, the Field, and Tangerine Dream, its truest intrinsic inspiration comes not from other music, but from real life events like relocating from Berlin to Los Angeles, being newly single, beaches, road trips, hiking, sunsets and cuddling.
The album is the complete opposite of 2012’s Lost in the Game, which was a cryptic exploration of disorientation, psychosis and depression. Instead of indulging in melancholy, these songs draw from the most cheerful moments of the here and now, connecting them to the best memories from childhood and late adolescence.
“Cute Never Dies” is a perfect title and song to usher in this new set - picture µ-Ziq’s happier melodies supplemented with orchestral cuts. “Coronado Bay Breezin’” occupies the same top-down contentedness space as Nate Dogg’s classic “Where I Wanna Be” refrain, while appropriately playful “Happiness Is a Warm Kitten” offers a squishy soul hug replete with vocal stabs.
The older and wiser Kid606 hasn’t lost his knack for epic track titles; “If I Am Only Allowed One Song on This Album with Cut Up Female Vocals Then This Song Is It” is a beautiful and exuberant builder with bassy beds made for the cooing vocal cuts. Melodically driven in a way that supersedes the transitory Lost in the Game, Happiness gives way to thoughtful euphoria - blast “Party Gambas” and its joyful pad sweeps, and feel the wash of warm enlightenment.
If there’s a black sheep, it’s the closer “Man: The Failed Child (Thank You and Good Night).” Eschewing the bubbliness that marks the rest of the album, this song stacks organ and synth-string drones that build into a thick, blissful crescendo before a long fade away into sonic stillness. It’s the track to play while letting one’s internal monologue take over - and Kid606 wants to help with that. There’s failure in life, so own it, and choose Happiness.
Kid606 Happiness Track Listing:
1. Cute Never Dies
2. Blood Stevia Sex Magik
3. Happiness is a Warm Kitten
4. Taco Time
5. Cloud Sculpting
6. Smooth Sailing
1. Party Gambas
2. Coronado Bay Breezin'
3. If I Am Only Allowed One Song on This Album with Cut Up Female Vocals Then This Song Is It
4. Tarsier Treehouse
5. Man: The Failed Child (Thank You and Good Night)