Young Magic - Still Life - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Young Magic - Still Life

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:6 Release Date:2016-05-19

Young Magic's new album Still Life is hard to describe. It doesn't slip easily into any of the usual genres. Which isn't to say it's some wildly creative or bizarre set. It's just located at a nexus or three. Most of the set has something of an electro-tribal feel, like it's being recorded underground, in a vast subterranean cave, and features what I like to call clockwork percussion. There's also a heavy dose of floaty female vocals in the style of Cocteau Twins.

The set starts well enough with 'Valhala' and 'Lucien', both which include the above components. But it continues with more and more of the exact same stuff, and there isn't much variation to keep one's interest. In fact, the entire album ends up being pretty uninspiring, both for a listener and a critic. There's just nothing solid to latch onto. It's not terrible music, it's just lightweight, like a gentle breeze that barely rustles a leaf. I'm able to listen to the entire album and barely notice it. Nothing ever jumps out and grabs my attention.

And quite a few times I get a feeling of deja vu, like, didn't I already hear this one? It's like someone took all the parts of music and put them in a blender for so long it turned they turned into a grey goo rather than distinct ingredients. The music can be quite pleasant in places, but it often comes off as listless. Singer Melati Malay has a pretty voice, no doubt, but at the same time it's not terribly unique.

In some ways the music reminds me of Prefuse 73, both stylistically and via Guillermo Scott Herren's tendency to just throw all his sounds into every song, which makes them complex, but impossible to dinstinguish from one another. And that's what this comes down to. It's tough to discuss individual songs here, when the entire album floats by in one undifferentiated mass. If you're looking for unobtrusive floatiness to listen to while you do something else, you could do worse. But if you're looking for major innovation, look elsewhere.

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