With “Variable,” Mike Diaz, the sole member of the alternative-electronica musical act MillionYoung, manages to create an album of love-inspired songs that even when released a mere two days before Valentine’s Day will not depress your single self nor send you spiraling into a chocolate-induced coma. It might, however, make you get up and dance.
The album consists of Diaz crooning 10 tracks that explore the many facets of love, but the sap ends with the subject matter. MillionYoung’s sound includes a wide range of tempos and a unique mixture of digitalized keyboard elements, as well as traditional instruments, while never straying from its electric-pop feel.
The act’s previous two albums, 2011’s “Replicants” and 2012’s re-release “Amanecer,” include similar combinations of digital sound. But the majority of the songs in those albums contained minimal, muffled lyrics and, instead, were devoted to emphasizing beats on each track. Now, Diaz’s soothing, caramelized voice belts out the pages of his diary to his listeners.
Diaz has never been more sure of his feelings. “Lovin,” the second track on “Variable,” begins with, “Oh I can’t forget you / You are always on my mind / And every time I see you / I lose all track of time.”
The lyrics’ sweet nature is accompanied by a relaxed electric guitar, adding an unsurprising beach vibe to the Florida native singer’s track. While the first four lines repeat themselves throughout the song, its simplicity generates an equal appreciation for the sound and lyrics, which is noticeable in tracks such as “Nao” and “Swish.”
The album’s tone brightens with the final dancier, more upbeat tracks. Diaz continuously asks, “Is this love?” throughout the song “It’s Fun to Remember,” as a steady but playful techno beat pulses with alternating bursts of sound.
Tracks like “Reciprocal” and “Swish” show a striking contrast between the more obvious dance-floor numbers, centered around slower, heavy keyboard tracks and sound effects, which further prove the act’s versatility.
On its third album, MillionYoung has evolved from its previous sound without losing authenticity in delivering a new kind of love song. With its willingness to balance levels of natural with energetic rhythm, “Variable” is pleasantly refreshing.
Nicole Del Mauro is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]