Reach the Stars
by Karla Ash
If Moonlife’s Reach the Stars doesn’t remind you of the deliriously happy (at least on the surface) keyboard-heavy alternative pop on Jim Keller’s “Resurrection Flashback Sunday” program on Seattle’s KNDD-FM, then you’re deaf. Moonlife specializes in jovial, danceable songs with lyrics that are, for the most part, on the bitter side. Back in the ‘80s, it was expected to contrast hand-clapping hooks with sour words, and this Bay Area-based group is certainly faithful to its roots. Reach the Stars could’ve been released between 1982 and 1986 with its twinkling synthesizers and suave European vocals. “I Heard You (On the Telephone),” with its insanely catchy, simple chorus and Atari 2600 bleeps, is the Buggles hit that never was. The nostalgia factor is high, and Moonlife takes you back, whether you like it or not, into the clubs.
What’s shocking is that Reach the Stars is far more consistent than many of the records it owes its influences to. There are plenty more splendid tracks on here, for example, than on any of the LPs by Real Life and Re-Flex, and Q-Feel can’t hold a candle to these lads. “Can’t Stop” and “Angel” have the cozy feel of a high-school jacket that still fits and brings back memories.
More on Moonlife is available at: http://www.moonlife.com