Browse By

Album Review // MOBS ‘Cinema Paradiso’

With their 11-track debut album, Cinema Paradiso, MOBS have encapsulated everything that the 80s were – colourful, energetic, and unapologetically fun.


MOBS Cinema Paradiso 2020

Listening to Cinema Paradiso evokes nostalgia for a time when their core audience was not even alive, yet somehow still resonates with cheerful lyrics and a unique blend of retro keyboard sounds and modern indie-pop. Each song on the record is inspired by the John Hughes era of cinematography and characters. They are next-level catchy. The best part is that the overall listening experience moves beyond background streaming and turns into an engaging game of “who inspired this song?”

The first lyrics we hear in the opening track, I’ll Be Back, are “What day is it? What year are we living?” This line readily defines Cinema Paradiso and kicks off our synth-pop journey.

Find Another You is a stand-out track. The verses highlight the dreamy, snare-laden quality that eases us into the heavy-hitting chorus. It’s a top-down, sunglasses on, driving with your feet on the dash kind of song that is at its core fun. The appearance of the saxophone in the second half is a pleasant surprise, too.

Like other songs on this record, it is hard to not feel uplifted and smiley while listening to Way Back. It is a sock-hop inducing, Olly Murs meets Jitterbug jive. If sunshine had a sound, this track is it.

For those seeking a more ‘modern’ sounding indie-pop song, Big World and Cruel Intentions tick those boxes. MOBS‘ crafted blend of nostalgic pop and new-age synth-pop stands out the most on these tracks and shows the detailed craftsmanship that went into building Cinema Paradiso.

Their most recent single, School’s Out, which is an homage to Ferris Bueller is the weakest track. It feels like it belongs on a made-for-TV teen movie soundtrack. It’s not bad, but it is the most skippable song on the album.

Most of the songs are infectious bops, but Home and the closing track, Stand By Me, are chilled out slow-dance songs. Stand By Me embraces the use of an egg shaker and has a similar feel to Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time. While it has a two-and-a-half-minute synth-outro that doesn’t feel necessary to wrap up the album, it will make a pretty epic closing to the main set. These songs are more subdued in contrast but fit perfectly within the overall scope of the album.

For what they set out to do, MOBS have done it almost perfectly. They have created a piece of art that transcends the decades through the most unique lens. If you don’t love Cinema Paradiso’s dynamic sound, show it to your parents; they will.