This is not to be confused with Ratt’s ‘Round and Round’ from back in the 80s. No, this is Crooked Flower’s ‘Around and Around‘, from their fifth album ‘Into The Light‘ and there is a noticeable difference right off the top of this groovy punk tune. Check out the video (which does resemble some sort of mix between the 80s and deep psychedelia)and then we’ll talk about it.
According to the band, this song is…
“in part a love song about a partner who goes back and forth. I wrote it during the throes of that situation. But this song is also a commentary about the irrationality we see all around us – the willingness to believe things that are blatantly false, while accusing others of peddling “fake news.” The Drug War is obviously part of this but of course not all of it.”
Keeping that in mind, we can jump straight to chatting about the music itself. There is a very interesting ‘Sultans of Swing‘-meets-Sting vibe to the composition of this song, for sure. Thankfully the lyrics don’t have that feel at all. Angie Dang truly brings her own character to this sort of throwback-styled song. And while this song may hearken back to the 70s and 80s to some extent, I think it is a sound that is largely missed in the industry today and there is room for a comeback of this sort of music. Especially when mixed with the rather modern vocal quality on the track.
There is a very fun breakdown in the song where everything slows right down and the show gets a bit of creep mixed with a sweet lead licking overtop the rest of the music, accenting the tune in just the right way. Everything becomes far more sensual in this moment, right up to the repetition of “Bitch, bitch, bitch…”
Speaking of that moment, this might be my theatre training popping into my music reviewing but there is certainly merit in changing up the way one might say or sing a repetitive word and this is something that Dang does not quite dig into. Sure, there is slight variation here but not enough to make much distinction. I was hoping for that repetition to really give us the climax of the tune and then we could be brought back down by the last verse and chorus. I want to buy more into the emotion of the song.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the smooth and sensual vocal quality in the tune but if there is going to be a moment of bursting emotion…give us that emotion!
And since I’m on the complain train at the moment, I just want to point out that I think it’s rather pointless to have someone playing guitar when it is clear they are not playing guitar. Or at least mixed so quietly that they cannot be heard. There are moments where the acoustic has either been silenced or is not being played at all and yet Dang is still strumming. This is picky, for sure but it does point to some lazy editing or purposeful editing that has been utterly misunderstood.
Either way, aside from my few little gripes with the video and that would-be moment of expression, Crooked Flower’s ‘Around and Around‘ is a pretty sweet and sexy song and this will certainly make it onto my summer and cruising playlists.
Check out the full ‘Into The Light‘ album right over HERE to hear some more Crooked Flower. It might be off kilter, but it certainly sounds sweet.