Dent May has gone disco, and we should all be totally OK with that. He mostly abandons his trademark ukulele on his latest, Do Things, opting instead for some sequiny synth and hair gel. He still knows you can’t force a dance party, but this try definitely pushes it much harder than past efforts with his four-stringed friend. It’s very ‘70s soft rock, very glossy. It’s almost as if someone just rubbed Vaseline across the whole saccharine soundscape.
“Rent Money” is inspirational, getting all nostalgic about childhood dreams and present longing. He struggles with exactly right now, crooning lines like “Don’t wanna be chasing that rent money for the rest of my life / Just need somebody to hold me at night.” Career vs. romance, a classic battle of the 20-something mindset.
“Fun” and “Tell Her” have a Fountains of Wayne’s Welcome Interstate Managers feel to them, bleeding carefree teenage love ‘tude with a summertime glaze. It’s joyful pop, likely best enjoyed on a boardwalk.
The disco flows full force on “Don’t Wait Too Long.” If I’m not totally making up the phrase “audio pelvic thrusts,” this song contains several textbook definitions. The cut could pass as a long lost nephew of “Abracadabra.”
“Wedding Day” lays on the adorable monstrously thick. It’s the best joint on the album, and the noodly guitar will straight-up melt your snow cone heart. And if it doesn’t, count on the reassuring lyrics that one day we’ll all find someone cool to hang out with for life to do it.
Do Things’s most interesting moment comes with “Home Groan.” It’s still a mystery to most of us why May decides to stay in his little Mississippi town instead of joining all his buddies in New York or L.A. or hell, even Bloomington. He addresses this conundrum here in a begrudged acceptance. Point blank, he rejects other options. He’s got the Cats Purring Dude Ranch there. He finds identity and a comfortable place in Oxford, so that’s that. And that’s the end of the record.
More of a long, leisurely ride than a bundle of cuts, Do Things is a pleasant, shiny trip. Expect it to lift you up and leave you hankering something sweet to suck on.