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Synthpop Album Review: "Wild Imaginings" by Frisky Monkey


Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!


Initial Impressions

Frisky Monkey’s Wild Imaginings is an album full of musical contrasts, dark New Wave synthpop sounds and Juan Cezar and Seersha’s expressive vocal performances that deliver lyrics that cut to the heart of the matter. There’s also a rich layering of synth sounds and a feeling of energy bubbling from the music.

I always enjoy Juan Cezar’s voice and the feeling it imparts to Frisky Monkey’s music. It has a depth to it that adds a slight shadow to everything he sings and he can fill it with emotion. Seersha is another talented singer with power and emotive ability and their voices combine nicely on this album.

There’s a directness and an emotional clarity to the lyrics of the songs on Wild Imaginings. They cut right into their subjects and there’s a sense that their sentiments come right from the heart. I enjoy the unadorned nature of the words and the messages they convey so cleanly.

The way that the musical elements combine on Wild Imaginings creates a palette of intertwining sounds that provides a strong tapestry to support the vocals and lyrics. Multi-instrumentalist Doug Pettus has done a good job of weaving the sonic tapestry here.

There is a wide selection of synths that cover the bright and dark, the delicate and energetic. In combination with the big sound of the percussion and the solid bass, they are full of musical contrasts and dynamic energy.

My Favourite Songs Analyzed

“Just Saying” comes to life with flashing, intertwining synths that climb dramatically over a dense bass wash. An oscillating, powerful minor key synth line cries out into the music while drums throb and cymbals clash. The drum beat accelerates along with Juan Cezar’s strong, expressive voice.

The sharp, angular synths all intermingle and there’s a darkness in the vocal melody that effectively contrasts with the lyrics. The chorus only increases the sense of drama as the throbbing beat launches the song forward rapidly. The New Wave feeling to this track suits Juan Cezar’s voice as the synths shine and swirl and the beat continues its headlong rush.

This is a song about how good it feels to fall in love with someone who seems exactly right for you. The song starts with a lovely sensory image in the line, “laying here next to you, the smell of sleep still in your hair.” That feeling of slowly waking is reflected in the idea of being “half-asleep, half-aware” as our narrator says there’s no better feeling.

Deep romance fills the song as the narrator speaks of “laying here so content, listening to you play.” He admits it might be clichéd, but he still says it’s his idea of a perfect day. In the chorus, he talks about spending lazy Sundays with the object of his affections and there may be “champagne, a glass or two, quiet times spent with friends.” He goes on to add, “I’m definitely not complaining I’m just saying…”

He is clear that he always enjoys the time he spends with the one he loves. He says, “There’s nothing I’d rather do than sit back and enjoy the view. There’s no doubt, it’s very clear.” I feel the appreciation when he continues, “The room lights up when you walk in, an angel’s smile with a hint of sin.”

A sense of amazement comes from the line, “I won’t question how I got so lucky to be ensnared in your charms” but the narrator accepts that it’s real and adds, “I’ll shelter you. Yes I’ll shelter you from all harm.”

Sharp-edged synth rises with a buzz to open “Falling” as Juan Cezar’s slightly muffled voice is joined by a slowly pulsing beat and tech-sounding synths. Elevated, glittering synths all flow together and the dark vocals slide in with the buzzing synth line. I am drawn to the aching but hopeful synth melody that’s carried on a glowing synth.

A rather thick, heavy synth growls into the song and to provide a strong contrast to the lyrics. There is a good balance between light and dark in this song, Juan Cezar’s deep voice adds weight and the warm synths add brightness. There’s a break to sweeping wind and the angular synths, the steady drums and the bass below. Hope mingles with loss as the track is driven onward.

Seeing someone we are drawn to and who we haven’t seen for a while can create powerful floods of emotion. This song explores that feeling when a relationship might be re-established. Our narrator begins by saying when he saw his old flame, it was “as if the time just slipped away.” It made him realize that they’re the one in his heart “when it’s said and done.”

He adds that every time he feels “your touch and your embrace” he knows that this time it will last. He says “falling in love again, it’s good to see you smile again” before he adds that broken hearts can mend. Now he’s “so happy with you in my arms again” and as they lay beside each other, it feels like it won’t ever end.

“While The World Falls Apart” starts off with quickly bouncing synths that hop into the music and reverberate over the thick bass before a rough-edged line of synth cuts in. A hard-hitting, steady beat is joined by a climbing line of synth that shines over the deep bass and the strong vocals.

I enjoy the coruscating, slightly aching melody as it calls out above the depths and the oscillating, buzzing synth as the solid drums add a strong pulse to the track and growling synth adds more grit and now a sound. The pained melody moves along with high synth that repeats in a wistful pattern.

All of love’s uncertainty and contradiction is expressed in this song. The narrator tells us that love can be “madness…chaos” and it can bring sadness and even destroy us. There’s a reminder that there are no guarantees with it and “no happy ever after” but unless one starts, it’s impossible to know what will happen. The narrator talks of coming together while the world falls apart and adds, “Love can be safety. Love can be an anchor. Love can be surety. Love can be the answer.”

Delicate, fragile piano is joined by rapidly rushing beat and oscillating bass to kick off “Tears In The Rain” as Seersha’s emotive, powerful voice leaps into the music as the beat pushes the music on. Dynamic synth sounds rush on and Juan Cezar’s vocals match Seersha’s voice well. The beat dances on as the thick, glimmering synths dance over the vocals as they drift together.

Clouds of full, glowing sound rise and the beat pushes on energetically. A soaring synth cries out with passion and the vocal melody is compelling. The soaring lead synth melody sings out again as the beat goes on along with delicate keyboard sounds.

This song is a discussion of the pain of falling for someone who doesn’t love you in return. Our narrator asks if we’ve ever had a day that we wanted to start again and poses the question, “Have you ever tried to make it right but ended up lost in the moment?”

He queries if we’ve ever loved someone despite knowing it will end badly and adds, “Have you ever wished with all of your heart that you could stop your feelings?”

There's a Blade Runner reference that comes in as the chorus begins, "it's like tears in the rain” and reminds us to “guard your heart.”

The narrator asks if you’ve ever looked inwards and tried to improve yourself. They go on to ask have you ever ask if you've ever had someone take your heart without even knowing they had done so. He asks if you tried to let go and found you couldn’t do it.

”Goodbye To Me” kicks off with swelling, warm synth chords and a big, clashing beat that drives into the music along with a buzzing, writhing synth line. Juan Cezar’s vocals cry out into the song as the beat slams hard into the music. I enjoy how the massive feeling of the music is complemented by a hollow synth carrying a darkly writhing melody. The drums batter as that twisting line of synth rises with the harsh attack of the vocals as doom-laden chords lift the track.

This song is a lyrical slap in the face to someone who has seriously annoyed the narrator. He has been ditched by someone who says they’re leaving because they can’t “get used to someone being nice” to them. Our narrator’s response is terse as he says, “No more being sweet, no more being nice, no more goodbye to me!”

He thinks it’s “such a fucked up trip” and it’s so hard to believe that “all you want is someone who’s a dick” and so he’s had enough. His anger is graphically clear as he says “I’m sick of this shit always happening. I’m sick of always taking the fall.”

Now he’s completely enraged and continues, “You want an asshole baby? Fine, come on and crawl, crawl back to me.” He goes on to say that there’s not going to be any second chances and leaves the object of his wrath in no doubt as he concludes, “Goodbye to me FUCK OFF! I’ve had enough I’ve had enough Goodbye to YOU!”


Wild Imaginings is an album that combines strong songwriting, emotive singing and a nicely balanced approach to creating synth pop with a soul that I find quite enjoyable. Frisky Monkey seems to go from strength to strength!

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