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No Better Time Than Now
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Despite its origins in change and unrest, No Better Time Than Now is ultimately a positive work: "The last year was definitely a significant turning point in my life both musically and personally," Saginaw says, "but life has its way of working things out in the strangest of ways. I spent most of the year traveling and that gave me a lot of time to think. I got to know myself a lot better and that helped me be more honest with myself... that helped me write more honest music and gave me inspiration and excitement for the future." This sense of internal reflection and confidence imbues every moment of this record. As Saginaw says, "I feel when things change so much so fast, you are forced to look at what is right in front of you... [to] look at what's happening in the moment, [which] sometimes helps you embrace that moment. These songs are that for me. Don't sleep on a feeling. If it feels right it is. We say life is 'short,' but [we] know it feels 'long,' so when you have a chance to be honest with yourself, take it there is no better time than now." No better time, indeed. Fans of Shigeto's previous work will find all the hallmarks of his sound here the warm, inviting washes of liquid synth sounds, the intricate production, the jazz-influenced arrangements. Now, however, they're imbued with a subtle energy "Detroit Part 1," for instance, features a surprisingly pounding hip hop beat, while "Ringleader" is propelled by an insistent hi-hat pattern that sits slightly ahead of the beat, giving the track a driving mood that belies its tempo. Even the quieter tracks retain a certain sense of urgency the aforementioned "Soul Searching," for instance, is a track that sounds just as reflective as its name might suggest, but it's kept from drifting too far into introspection by a powerful, echo-laden beat. The title track starts out in a similarly pensive vein, but builds slowly into a storm of fuzzy synth sounds and clattering drums. Even the penultimate "Silver Lining," a quietly beautiful mixture of Shigeto's evocative vocals and tinkling electric piano, features one of the punchier kickdrum sounds you'll ever hear.
Top customer reviews
It's a travesty that this guy is not that well known, having already released two stunning albums over the last few years. This next release is said to represent a "sense of internal reflection and confidence" that Saginaw has learnt over the last year which "imbues every moment". Lead single 'Detroit Part 1' reveals a less clunky and more soothing Shigeto; whilst 'Full Circle' flirted with hip-hop Saginaw investigates his inner jazz similar to 'Huron River Drive'.
The rest of the album resonates with maturity. Whilst at times the reverberation is overwhelming it does create an atmosphere that cultivates room in the tracks. Previous albums sat in the constrained loop territory of Ninja Tune whereas 'No Better Time Than Now' feels more organic and provides space for the tracks to expand and transform.
If you are a fan of Flying Lotus,Prefuse 73 or even Four Tet then you should really be listening to Zachary.
Listen To: 'Detroit Part 1', 'Miss U', 'No Better Time Than Now'
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Several of the songs on the album are great. Great meaning that they will still be listenable years from now. Some of the songs are ok. The album overall is very good. I've had it for 3 weeks now, the newness has worn off, and I am still glad I bought it. What else is there to say?
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