German musician Roosevelt (born Marius Lauber) has released his first full-length album. It follows on from his 2013 EP Elliot, which demonstrated his ability to create ethereal nu-disco inspired tracks, and this style of music is largely repeated here with a large degree of success. It is a shame not to hear the likes of ‘Montreal’ and ‘Elliot’ on this release, as these were his strongest tracks and would have fitted in well with the rest of the album, but ‘Sea’ from the Elliot EP does feature, and it is pleasing to see all of the new tracks that Roosevelt has to offer.
Roosevelt’s first full-length album builds upon the foundations of his first EP and has created a number of energetic dance-orientated tracks. One is ‘Colours’, which is built around a piano and tropical percussion and later incorporates a strong bassline and disco guitar more typical of his earlier work. It is a similar story with ‘Night Moves’, a more synthpop inspired track that again takes some house and funk elements. Both of these songs show a very natural progression from Roosevelt’s first release and do more to showcase his vocal and lyrical abilities.
The stand out track from the album has to be ‘Fever’, a chilled and blissful late summer anthem that takes the best components of Lauber’s trademark style while also making for a more optimistic and upbeat sound. ‘Fever’ is also lyrically the strongest track on the release, and Lauber successfully captures the feelings of nostalgia and a desire to return to his youth, with bittersweet lines including “Hold me up into the lights. Get back to where we started out” and the chorus “Bring back the fever again. Don’t lose the fever again.”
There are also plenty of downtempo numbers on Roosevelt, such as ‘Moving On’, a sonically and lyrically gloomier track that deals with the aftermath of a partner’s departure. In addition, ‘Hold On’ is bass-driven track that is much more minimalist and psychedelic than other parts of the LP. The inclusion of tracks like these provide an effective use of light and shade, as well as illustrating the diversity and versatility of the album.
In summary, Roosevelt is a strong and confident debut. Roosevelt is able to freely express himself and successfully experiments with a number of genres without straying too far from funk and nu-disco. Dance music in an increasingly more crowded genre, but Marius Lauber’s debut album will help him to stand out from the crowd, due to his success in putting a new spin on an old genre.By James Baker