All PRIZM wants to do is get butts shaking. On their recently released debut album, the alter-ego of Fleetwood Mac-y singer-songwriters Danni & Kris throws back to that mythical place in the 1980s and early ’90s where Exposé happily mingles with Depeche Mode. Full of smooth synth lines, swishing beats, and sumptuous vocal melodies, All Night collects 12 pristinely structured, supremely catchy tracks that, while decidedly retro, aren’t stuck in the past. The result is a maximalist piece of ear candy that goes from pink to neon pink mostly via tales of love, joy, and togetherness, which is more than welcome considering all of the hate, pain, and division flooding our brains and newsfeeds now. If the bright and buoyant All Night were a pool accessory, it would be a unicorn floatie big enough for the whole world.
As with all of PRIZM’s previous releases dating back to 2019, songstresses Kristen Williams and Danielle James are accompanied by producer Geoff Rockwell, who establishes grooves perfect for where they are but also ripe for extending and remixing. Every track slinks and shimmies. Most of them are anchored by huge singalong choruses driven by Williams and James like a canary yellow Z-28 down the coast in the summer. “We Were Young” stomps with a star-crossed sweetness (replete with sultry sax), while “Closer” is a soulful strut through New Jack City and the rockin’-with-you Michael Jackson homage “Disco Biscuit” crackles with fluffy funk. Michael’s sister Janet gets a nod on the thickly rhythmic “Move Me,” whose chorus of “Moo-oo-oo-oo-ooove me / Moo-oo-oo-oo-ooove me” rainbows directly from the dance floor to the bedroom. Maybe the strongest tune in a Chess King bargain bin full of them is the title track. It’s big, bold, and sparkly and, with its throbbing, strobelighted, Wall of Sound chorus, perhaps the most contemporary sounding. It — and, since we’re being specific, the album closer “Illuminate” — could easily be spun on KXT during drive time. Easily.
Ladled like strawberry syrup on top of every note throughout All Night are vocals that alternate between breathy and powerful. You can almost see the hoop earrings and buckled straps rattling as Williams and James completely take over your speakers as if they own them. Not that you would mind. “Power pop” feels like the right kind of label here.
Genre holds together All Night, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. PRIZM’s complete immersion in a very specific point in recent history, one that, admittedly, was loaded with bathos and corniness, is bereft of irony because good music is good music, no matter what it’s labeled or what shape it takes. This album could have come out in 1985, and that’s a high compliment from a former pimply faced mall rat. Outdoing early Madonna, as PRIZM does on “Mine” and the sunshine-through-the-rainy “Can’t Go Back,” is by no means easy. Otherwise, as the old saying goes, everyone would be doing it.
The album keeps up with the sugary bombast and confectionary flavor of its predecessors. Lacing them all together is pure joy, the kind that comes with feeling music and letting it move you. For some people, A Love Supreme or Trout Mask Replica does the trick. For others, it’s Physical Graffiti or Appalachian Spring. And for lovers of The Almighty Groove and for folks who just like to sing along, All Night fits like your best pair of acid-washed Girbauds. Tiiiight.