Robert DeLong has been building brazen beats and slinging his anecdotes since first releasing Global Concepts, the title track of his debut album, Just Movement in 2012 – and he hasn’t slowed down since. As Just Movement was a cutting edge blend of club-ready dance tracks and singer/songwriter introspection, In the Cards is an entirely new, eclectic, and sophisticated movement.
In the Cards is an earnest and enigmatic album that is built around the mythic element surrounding the art of tarot cards. Every song stands alone as its own card, each representing a new perspective on fate and the complexities of understanding the world around us. DeLong pragmatically defines his balanced world view, covering religion, politics, society, and heartache; all while outlining this motif through diverse beat driven body music, swaggering vocals and poetic existentialism.
While In the Cards is built upon a foundation of indie electronic vibes and downbeat 80’s new wave, DeLong manages to open another dimension of Electronic Dance Music to the world, as he reinvigorates the genre with his organic and freewheeling energy. There’s something appealing for all audiences in this album, emanating moods and contextual subtleties across a variety of genres. Lovers of slow motion hipster R&B jams will find solace when listening to Born to Break and That’s What We Call Love, while deep house enthusiasts will find their groove in the pop laced songs, Jealousy and Don’t Wait Up. The stand out of the album, Long Way Down explores the idea of death and the little control we have over it, all while overflowing with radiant energy over hip-hop styled grooves and confident, jazz inspired vocals. As broad and varied the tracks are, DeLong manages to maintain the deep thematic connection and create a solid flow between the tracks.
In the Cards is fully indicative of DeLong’s commitment to conceptual songwriting, vocal exploration, sonic innovation, and is overall a hypnotic and lyrical testament that DeLong’s fate and future are not in the cards, but in his own hands.