Most helpful critical review
12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
All Right Album, not brilliant nor original
on 17 April 2009
Take this review as a very personal point of view. I don't generally like writing negative reviews, but when a record is over-over-over-hyped it's good to have someone with a different perspective I had quite a few hopes for this album. It has been described with many superlatives both from the 'official' press, the indie-forums and the customers of online shops. Meine gott. This is the level contemporary indie listeners have come to... Album of the year???? How Sad. The good: a consistent mood (depression) is carried 'consistently' from beginning to end, with only slight euphoric-ish surges of instrumental vitality (i.e. the rather good "Microcastle" and "Nothing Ever Happened"). The vocals keep this mood steady, showing some kind of style awareness. There's a consistent (if feeble) production, kind of watery and airy, ethereal, loads of reverb, etc., which creates a specific atmosphere. The Bad: I think the vocals are rather bad, boring and .. ok, depressing! Melody-wise this so called 'pop' album is very poor. Please attend a few open mics in your city and become aware of how many people out there can write excellent pop hooks and great songs. Probably you can write better songs than the ones on here. Give it a go if you haven't tried yet! :) Plus, I have to add...There's nothing here of the sheer sonic brilliance of MBV, nothing of the pop urgency of early JMC or Ride, nothing of the psychological depth of Slowdive or of the psychedelic bliss of Spacemen 3. It kind of sounds like early Radiohead, stuck in a hospital bed covering Stereolab. And not in a good way! ..As the musicianship here seems rather poor. It makes me kind of think that some indie-critics have never listened to anything before Arcade Fire or maybe want to keep friends with big-indie labels? Maybe I'm sounding a bit too cynical, and I suppose that younger listeners may find this album quite nice, simply because they may not know "Playing With Fire" or "Isn't Anything". Actually, now that I mention these albums I see what I feel it's missing, and that's probably why I find it undeserving of great praise: Even in the most pop or melodic songs there's no sense of liveliness here. I mean, there are loads of depressive albums in which you can still sense a love of life and musical verve (take any Lisa Germano record!), but Deerunter's self-indulgence is probably a bit too much for me.