Inventions - Blanket Waves [VINYL] - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Inventions - Blanket Waves [VINYL]

by Hayden Harman Rating:4 Release Date:2015-10-16

An Ode to the Little EP That Tried

O new EP who art so small, 

Why is it you exist at all? 

You try so hard to be so great, 

But end up sounding second rate. 

Atmosphere and ambience alone, 

Will not make me buy your disc to own. 

O how I’d give you a better score! 

But you leave me wanting so much more.


Inventions have had a busy year. Blanket Waves is Inventions’ third release this year for Temporary Residence, succeeding a full-length LP and a remix album. Inventions is made up of Explosion in the Sky’s Mark T. Smith and Eluvium’s Matthew Cooper, two musicians greatly loved by a devoted fan base. But to these ears, the duo’s two songs on this EP feel empty and pointless, far inferior to either’s previous work. It’s not that Blanket Waves is unlistenable, it’s just largely unenjoyable.

The guy who coined the term ambient suggested that the music should be as ignorable as it is interesting. If you can find a way to ignore the creepy vocal samples in the title track, you’ll soon discover that the rest of the track isn’t very interesting. It sounds messy and strangely calculated, with every blip, vocal sample, crescendo, and synth effect meticulously placed. It feels like music as a product, meant to fill a spot in the next “songs to chill out to” Spotify playlist, while also trying to be experimental. It wants to soundtrack our daily routines and take us on a mind-expanding sonic journey, but it fails at both.

The second track “Hearing Loss” follows the same identity crisis as the title track. It has lots of ideas, but they all feel jumbled and thrown together unnecessarily. Quiet ambience segways into distracting samples then into a mechanical climax then back to more creepy vocal samples - that’s basically the track in a nutshell.

This sounds harsh, you say? Maybe you’re right. This someone’s heart and soul, someone’s artistic vision, right? Sure, maybe it deserves to be heard… once. But remember, everything happens so much. As listeners we are bombarded with so much information we have to constantly choose what to consume. We mere mortals can only listen to one thing at a time, and we can’t enjoy everything all of the time, so we’re doomed to seek that which is compelling and enriching, and Blanket Waves is neither. Anyway, if you insist on buying your limited edition, multi-colored vinyl copy, I won’t stop you. But if it sits on your shelf and you never listen to it again, don’t come crying to me...

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