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This review is from: Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (Audio CD)
To tar Bradford Cox with the label `easy listening' is to do him a grand injustice, but both his 2008 releases wash over the listener in such an aurally pleasing and unchallenging way that it is difficult to slap any other sticker on him. Like his Deerhunter album Microcastle, this album sounds lazy, but in an entirely commendable way, like it was recorded in shorts and straw hat. It sounds summery in a shoegaze-y way and laces dreamy qualities through a fuzzy, warm haze.
The tracks seem to have an innate rhythm, and pulse gently accompanied by Cox's acquiescent drawl. What `Let The Blind Lead ...' possesses that Microcastle does not is a better sense of consistency, where all tracks are songs, rather than collections of ideas, and all compliment each other throughout, rather like Victorian gents doffing their caps respectfully to one another in the street. There is no reliance to fall into the overly experimental, which allows the album to fall comfortably under a straight `indie' classification, with thorough nods to shoegaze.
This has its drawbacks though, because where Microcastle was more adventurous, it had the propensity to succeed. Granted it was hit and miss, but where it hit it was marvellous. `Let The Blind Lead ...' suffers consequently. The album lacks a standout moment, despite being an equally understated record that repays dedicated relistening in full.
Both albums recall a more mute Grandaddy, failing to reach the same sense of abandon that The Sophtware Slump achieved, but humming along with the same drive to pleasantly please and to build layer-like with each listen. Sensory deprivation allows for acute perception elsewhere and in Atlas Sound, Cox has produced a record above the ordinary, which leaves the listener comfortably numb, happily led by the deceptively simple but courageously effective experience.