Californian producer/sound-manipulator Steve Ellison’s previous album, ‘Los Angeles’, may have won him a small cult following but it was
this, his third full-length record,
that saw him cross over and flirt vivaciously with the outer limits of society’s collective mind-frame.
Some may point to the fact that the guest appearance of Thom Yorke may have caused some Radiohead aficionados to sit up and take notice;
others may point to his much written about blood-line as a point of interest.
Neither accusation takes away from the fact that ‘Cosmogramma’ is a giant step forward,Flying
though. Rather then stay loyal to the ideas of rigid structures or reproducing conventional, tired sounds, Flying
what this record does offer is a highly complex array of twisting sonic structures that contort smooth jazz-inflected melodies to lazily tinged hip-hop beats.
Veteran critics may have a habit of deeming it ‘challenging’, before politely casting it aside for a niche audience Flying ,
but there is little doubting that ‘Cosmogramma’ is a fascinating album from a truly progressive electronic artist.
They’ve been making genuinely superb albums since 2005’s ‘Alligator’ (their third), gradually gaining commercial momentum without losing
credibility, Flying and in 2010
‘High Violet’ cemented much wider-reaching success for the group.
It’s because ‘High Violet’ has no weak links – no temptation to reach for the skip button.
It’s an album that can be listened to in its entirety
as a standalone, coherent whole,
while the rich orchestration of the music places it high above
the limitations of dumb guitar‘n‘drums stodginess.
Opener ‘Terrible Love’ pitches you into the whirlwind, building to a climax of drama and emotional intensity, and for the rest of the album there’s no let-up. As much as anything, soul-baring lyrics and rich, deep vocals of their awkwardly disposed frontman Matt Berninger
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