The Washington, D.C. progressive house duo Deep Dish are out to prove that dance music can live beyond the DJ booth with George Is On, their first artist album since 1994’s Junk Science. GIO features a house version of Fleetwood Mac’s "Dreams"— sung by Ms. Stevie Nicks herself — as well as guest vocalist Richard Morel, a kind of Leonard Cohen-Daniel Ash ’80s new wave rocker, who sings on the opening "No Stopping For Nicotine." House music never sounded so, well, un-house-y. More interesting, especially to the home listener, are Deep Dish’s attempts at earnest songwriting. On "In Love With A Friend," Deep Dish-er Dubfire croons like he’s fronting Jesus and Mary Chain on a mid-tempo track without getting too cheeky. In fact, it’s the utter sincerity here — from the adrenaline-rush, ’80s guitar riff of "Flashdance," featuring the nondiva-ish, Tori Amos-styled vocals of newcomer Anousheh, to the DJ Sultan mash-up of "Flashdance" with Dire Straits’ "Money For Nothing" riff that closes the album. Deep Dish’s rock-savvy take on progressive dance music sounds progressive. They’re looking to the past, sure, but it’s not the disco-diva ’70s, it’s the pointy riffs and chugging new wave of their own ’80s comings of age.
Hobey Echlin writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.