1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2002
With "Flux," band founder and songwriter, Ryan Lum, has fully committed himself to the electronic groove based sound first hinted at on his last album, "Ever." This newest album should finally blast away the misconception that Love Spirals Downwards is a "Goth band."
"Flux" gives full play to Lum's increasing attraction to the melodic side of Drum and Bass music, with seven of nine tracks using that unique polyrhythmic technique for the basis of the songs. Over this electronic bed of beats, samples and synth, he lays his signature guitar melodies and lush washes, using both electric and acoustic guitars. Unlike most drum and bass projects, vocals are used extensively on "Flux," creating more of a listening album feel that a dance club vibe.
In the dance music tradition, Lum utilizes even more sampling of vocals here than on the previous, more rock based albums. Several vocalists were involved this time around. Not only did Lum work with Suzanne Perry, but also her sister, Kristen, for two songs, as well as a recycled sample of Jennifer Ryan Fuller taken from his earlier album, "Ardor." All the vocals are very dreamy, light, ultimately feminine and classically Projekt in sound. I believe it's the floaty, wordless vocal sound Lum prefers which still keeps him in favor with the gothic/Projekt/4AD contingency that follows LSD, perhaps even more so than his beautifully poignant guitar playing.
I find "Flux" to be a perfect balance of sing-along songs and zone-out background music for any occassion. The tempo is steady, the melodies heartbreaking, the vocals soothing, and it all flows together in the seamless, trance inducing, spirit-lifting vein of LSD's past albums. Lum has a way of creating happy-sad music that simultaneously makes one feel exalted and contemplative.
LSD possesses a potentially wide appeal that has remained mostly untapped until this point. Their blend of Ethereal Pop and danceable grooves is truly the most contemporary thing going on at Projekt records and something that I think many people are ready for.
The combination of guitar and electronics with female voices brings to mind the Cocteau Twins, particularly their "Otherness" EP. Another fair comparison is Everything but the Girl, especially their recent album "Walking Wounded." Both acts produce a similar blend of Pop Rock and Electronica dance music in a listening album format.