Prince Rama – Top Ten Hits of the End of the World
For their latest release, Brooklyn duo Prince Rama invented 10 separate entities to sing pop songs to soundtrack the end of days. Prince Rama’s apocalyptic thing might be shticky, but it also serves to highlight how the Brooklyn duo’s second album represents the strongest statement yet of their inverted pop aesthetic. “Those Who Live for Love Will Live Forever” channels ’70s and ’80s schlock like “The Hussle” and “Physical” through an art-pop lens that ends with a tribal background and the girls shrieking “forever” until the floor falls beneath them. “No Way Back” resuscitates forgotten new wave pop groups like Shakespeare’s Sister and Strawberry Switchblade in its girlish pop ambition, but the sound of it finds kinship with outsider sounds like the lo-fi pop of Ariel Pink. The way Prince Rama blends simplicity, as on the bare-bones riffery “So Destroyed,” with otherness, as in that song’s exotic call and response, takes them farther than the album’s admittedly fun premise. Hopefully whoever or whatever finds Prince Rama’s Top Ten Hits of the End of the World jammed in someone’s tape deck after mankind is long gone thinks we were pretty cool ’cause of it.