Album Review: Lucky Chops ‘Lucky Chops’
NYC’s brass-funk quintet Lucky Chops released their self-titled album Lucky Chops. Fans who donated to support the album’s production were treated to the full album a day early.
Lucky Chops isn’t their first recording, however, the 11-track album marks their first full-length studio effort that brings a collection of original songs to their growing fan base, marked by careful attention to detail in the compositions and production. Their first release, NYC, came out around the same time that their New York City subway performances gained viral attention on social media and is comprised mostly of covers, and subsequent single and EP releases that established a foundation of original material leading to this latest project.
There is no single defining sound that the band has laid down on this latest release. By the fourth song, Lucky Chops has defined a well-crafted blend of original sounds for this multi-genre, multi-decade influenced banger of an album.
The medium paced disco groove of “Halfway to the Hudson” leads things off with interludes laced with brassy, Daft Punk-inspired licks. From this catchy attention grabber, the album quickly flaunts a diversity in sound, traveling through a lighthearted “Dancing Babies” to the heavy, steady beat of “Traveler” where their own original dance style shines through.
The album’s prominent track and first single, “Full Heart Fancy,” is the best demonstration of Lucky Chops’ writing and performing skills, with each of the five members featured throughout the song.
The album, as a brass band recording, is naturally instrumental and sans vocals. However, a unique part of their compositions is that several of the melodies beg the attentive ear to search for its own lyrics to sing in tune or harmony with those melodies. “Flyway,” as an example, is a relaxed tune where the tenor sax line resonates with the familiar feel of Paul McCartney’s singing on “Yesterday.” Naturally, or even instinctively, unspoken words form at the tip of the tongue while listening to the album.
In a broader sense, Lucky Chops brings that aspect out in many of the tracks by how well the subtlety (and sometimes the obvious) blend into their arrangements prominent elements of some of the pop music styles of 1950’s surf rock (“Dance Nights”), and 1990’s/2010’s alt/pop (“Familiar Places,” “Mo’ Mo,” “Memories”).
Lucky Chops represents a step forward for the band in the effort and craft in composing/producing/recording, and for the perseverance they have shown fans through an unavoidable delay in the release. The band’s new music continues in the band’s tradition of having a wide appeal, enjoyed at home or at one of their high energy club/concert hall shows.
The album can be purchased and streamed here.
Key Tracks: Full Heart Fancy, Memories, Familiar Places
- Halfway To The Hudson
- The Dancing Babies
- Dance Night
- Full Heart Fancy
- Pizza Day
- Familiar Places
- It’s Not Goodbye
- Mo’ Momo
Lucky Chops will return to touring around the US this spring with several East Coast stops (listed below), including two nights at Brooklyn Bowl. Full tour dates, along with ticket information, can be found here.