To tar Deerhunter with the label `easy listening' is to do them a grand injustice. The album however does sound very lazy, but in an entirely great way, like it was somehow recorded with all the switches only turned up to nine. It sounds summery and laces dreamy, peculiar qualities through that fuzzy, warm haze.
Grandaddy's The Sophtware Slump is an immediate point of reference, as is The Shins entire catalogue. The tracks often seem to have an innate rhythm, and this is exacerbated in `Agoraphobia' by assonatic vocals, which elsewhere are gently distorted to further recall alt. heroes Grandaddy.
These influences point the album toward its natural hunting grounds of pop, but a dark shimmer lurks in the shadows that can only be accredited to the shoe-gazing fraternity, and it allows the album's insular qualities to appear. Also in the shadows, is Bradford Cox' tendency to embrace the musical anecdote, `Green Jacket' leaves the path well trodden and enters `aside' country. This murky domain of the interlude and skit, here hosts a mid-section of tracks, rather than songs, which make the album difficult to love yet compliment the whole seamlessly, the evocative spoken sample in `Saved By Old Times' seems irrelevant yet wholly congruous.
This understated record matures with each listen and repays dedicated relistening in full. As such, it is not an immediate album, which should serve as praise enough, as good records very rarely are.
Cox was a busy boy in 2008, first releasing Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel under the name of Atlas Sound, and this at the end of the year, and his output rightly garnered much positive attention. Its only detraction is that is not a little more heavyweight, not quite punchy nor quirky enough to warrant the use of `classic'. The album like the sound is best summed up by being nine out of ten, but despite that missing tenth, what has been achieved is a joy to share - easy and rewarding listening therefore.