Mixing a slick lounge vibe with Asian tones, Dengue Fever’s third album is a clever piece to any collection. Venus On Earth has elements of modern jazz, 60’s party jams, and indie rock engaged with Asian influences that make it both unique and familiar sounding. It’s an excellent twist on what the indie world tends to expect to sell records as well as open minds.
While the most noticeable characteristic of Venus On Earth maybe singer Chhom Nimol’s delivery, the rest of the band don’t go ignored and add a wide variety of instrumentation. The opener, “Seeing Hands” rolls at least four instruments smoothly over a cool, pattering beat. “Clipped Wings” further develops the jazz side of the album while adding a deft electric guitar to the mix. Zac Holtzman even adds a clever duet on “Tiger Phone Card”, which has a trippy Sonny & Cher mystique. “Monsoon of Perfume” and “Tooth and Nail” explore the band’s calmer side while most of the rest of Venus On Earth enjoys a romp through 60’s psychedelia.
Venus On Earth is a transporting album. It travels back in time and across the ocean on a throwback American sound with Asian influence. It’s not a total departure from what’s on American stereos, but more of a tug on the arm for the people wanting a little variety but avoid the label “world music”.