Reviewing this album is hard. Times have changed, generations have moved forward, and it’s kind of tricky to reference and appreciate this album while also maintaining a perspective of someone who might be new to this music. So I’m going to get a few things out first, then we can move into the review more solidly.
Long long ago, there was a project called California Sunshine. Having a name that is an obvious wink’n’nod to the blotter of the same name gives us our first level of understanding. If we take that concept and also interweave it with the literal idea of some California Sunshine you will begin to understand how to approach this album.
Cheesy named blotter of the 90’s + Sun shining California coasts = a very specific Israeli Trance energy. And it is very epic.
The album starts off with a nice updated version of their classic track Rain. Rain is a beautiful song on, what I believe to be their best album, Nasha. So the album starts by taking a piece of its past and fitting it through the holes of time and into this new world of EPIC. I mean, I know California Sunshine have always been quite epic in their cheese factor, but damn; this album goes above and beyond. They go above and beyond and do it well too. I was honestly caught off guard. I didn’t think that I would love this album as much as I do.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of the guitars (and there are lots of guitars), but after the disk ended the first time, I reflected upon the music and wanted to hear it again. The second listening, without the shock of the guitars, was even better. I was able to appreciate why they were there and the story that they helped tell. And there aren’t guitars on every single track or anything either. I just know to mention these things because I will be flamed if I don’t. But jesus christ, this album is so uplifting and so good.
This album feels GREAT. It makes you smile a lot. It pushes forth the energies of cosmic compatibility and hopeful longing. It allows you to appreciate the spring time flowers in bloom, the bits of rain that give those flowers life, then the sun shining down upon them and making them grow. The air of spring. Of life. Of rebirth. The album is a massive MDMA pill that you can ingest aurally and have no shitty hangover with. It just makes you feel good.
*FLASH* memory of playing on the beach with your family when 9 years old
*FLASH* memory of eating a big birthday cake with missing teeth because you just lost another baby tooth
*FLASH* memory of that sunrise on the mountain, in the arms of the person you love, breathing the fresh air of life, watching your friends dance on the dance floor
*FLASH* memory of that one smile, from that one person, that you’ll never ever forget
This is California Sunshine.
It is a massively big hug and a great piece of heart.
Now, for the VERY IMPORTANT DJ ANALYSIS OF THIS RECORD…
Ok, so… I know very few people who would ever actually play this album out. But most of my friends are too cool to appreciate the level of beauty and cheese within this disk, so that doesn’t bother me much. This album is very much for certain types of DJs and people with certain types of tastes. I will gladly play these tracks during any sunrise set. In fact, I promise that if you hear me playing in the morning at a party this summer, I will totally rock this album. The momentum is infectuous. The drive is rejuvenating. The guitars are very unique. It’s not buttrock goa. It’s not metal trance. I almost want to say that it is like a proper Monster Ballads accompaniment to top shelf Israeli morning trance. Done right.
What’s really nice though, is that the album is something that over the past 3 weeks, I have just put on to listen to over and over. It’s not simply DJ material. I actually really love listening to this album and being transported into the feelings and emotions contained therein. Now I just wish Man With No Name would come out and release something totally killer and new again. That would be sweet.
So it’s California Sunshine. If you are familiar with them and like them, you should pick this up. While Rebirth doesn’t quite reach the levels of Nasha, it is still a fantastic album and reaches a completely different set of level and ideas.
I’m very happy that this is getting released just before the summer season starts, because some great anthemic California Sunshine is _exactly_ what this summer needs. Completely.
2010 has been an interesting year and I am very happy to have California Sunshine as part of the soundtrack of my summer. It will be a good summer indeed.
Hopefully you’ll have a good one too. Maybe California Sunshine can help with your soundtrack as well.