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Synthpop Single Review: "Don't Talk To Strangers" by Rogue FX

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Rogue FX’s Don’t Talk To Strangers bursts with retro energy and tells a gritty tale as it unfolds. Hard-hitting kick drum moves below ethereally sailing synth as rounded sounds shift. Angular sax jazzily sings out above varied, ear-grabbing percussion before Rogue FX’s expressive voice carries the smoothly sliding vocal melody.

Bright chimes ring out, adding flashing life as they glitter in between the vocals. Rogue FX’s vocals exude ‘80s cool while nasal, medium high synth spins out an energizing melody and unique percussion adds motion. Quick claps echo out and after an orchestra hit, Rogue FX’s vocals carry the devious melody over throbbing drums while gleaming chimes ring. Quick, shining synth bursts accent the smooth vocals.

The drums pulse while the tight, shivering synth tumbles. Choral synth bounces along with the flashing chimes. Rogue FX’s voice has a strong retro sensibility in this song. Taut sax fragments become a broken solo as varied percussion adds shape. The chorus is punctuated by quick orchestra bursts, trembling sax and bell-like percussion moving along with a reverberant synth splash before the song ends.

Our storyteller talks about the song’s main character and how she’s a runaway who ends up in places “where she gotta mind the trouble.” He says that she isn’t desperate, but won’t forget that “on the streets there’s trouble.” She has to run and hide, reminding herself not to “talk to strangers in the night” but to come alive.

The narrator points out that a better life is possible “but she won’t go home.” He says that she has to face to future because it’s “getting dangerous living on a prayer.” He adds that she won’t let herself be judged, so she “goes on living day by day” by working at the arcade. While the “long cold nights will come again” he concludes that her “burning fire will never fade.”

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© 2022 Karl Magi

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