When I listened to Subliminal Romance II, I knew there had to be a part 1. I’ve been looking for it but to no avail until suddenly it appeared in front of me… Subliminal Romance I; the record that would of been forever lost in time had it not been for the help of Beer Wizard and the one that started it all.
Like Subliminal Romance II, this tells a story but unlike Subliminal Romance II, this one has a more cohesive feel to it. The soundscapes here are like traveling through 80s or 90s New York, trying to make sense of this romance that you feel with someone else. The samples are a mix from the adult contemporary to the smooth jazz to even the quiet storm cuts that combine to give you that NY feeling and it flexes from quiet and distant to upfront and personal with ease, allowing the feeling of the songs to come through with full effect.
Every song represents a scene with multiple meanings going on open to interpretation meaning that the songs here aren’t as separate as you think; while each represent a moment, they play to the underlying story at hand with various emotions running through the protagonists head portrayed through the music playing in the background. The feelings shown give this album a sort of a human quality and really makes going through the album a breeze knowing that you’ll be given something interesting and something pleasurable.
There are new tracks here that aren’t necessarily a part of the old story. I don’t know which ones are new but when they blend seamlessly into the story than the album becomes sort of a director’s cut; something where scenes are added to fully flesh out the story. It may not tell much about the characters but it does make the story have a bit more sense. I’m assuming the original is amazing but with the addition of these new tracks make it mind blowing.
Subliminal Romance is the rare instance where the original trumps the sequel. This is both a story and an experience and if you’re looking for the most accurate representation of 80s/90s NYC then this album is for you. Both installments are better when together though so I will give the sequel that.