Friday, January 30, 2009

*Beirut's return with a double EP is capable and does what it needs to do: remind people that Zach Condon decided not to hang it up after all. The first EP as Beirut (March of the Zapotec) is distinct in its Latin influences and has some of the expected moments of lyrical beauty paired with sonic depth. The Realpeople tail-end(Holland) is less impressive, but remains an interesting exercise. The shimmering sadness in a voice like Condon's already takes on a majestic quality when matched with his usual orchestral arrangements. On Holland(as Realpeople) it is oddly matched, but infinitely interesting in the way that his timbre goes blow or blow with those synth loops and analog beat drops. Both EP's have their flaws, but it's just really nice to have Zach back. Let's see where he goes from here.

*Asobi Seksu's Hush is not initially as satisfying as their last LP Citrus. It seems to lack a certain...ethereal quality that practically oozed out of the former. And what you find, is that that quality may be its greatest strength. Hush is a vigorous album, with movement and purpose. Not content to simply let itself unfold like a Shoegaze tutorial, it collides with itself on several occasions making for an aural enormity that explodes like Citrus regularly internalized. Hush is Asobi Seksu showing real growth and progress, while still maintaining the sonic complexity of their Shoegaze and Pop blended roots. This is an engrossing record from start to finish, and it easily sticks out among Asobi Seksu's already impressive discography.