Today is the 8th installment of my son picking an album to be on the list, and this one will not go down as one of my favorites. Featuring the debut album, “Since I Left You”, from the Australian electronic group The Avalanches, this is a record I tried to embrace as always, but just never really connected. It does appear to be fairly well regarded within and beyond the genre, and I read that Questlove considers this to be one of his ten favorite albums of all time, but it just doesn’t have enough songs or musical content that make me want to come back for more.
If I had to describe this album, it would be somewhere between chaotic and frenetic. It is a constant menagerie of sounds that come at you from all directions, and I could never just comfortable with the blended result. Mixing in hundreds, perhaps thousands of samples around some disjointed musical lines just made it difficult for me to get comfortable with the end product. There is so much repetitive looping and automated sound that it becomes annoying and distracting every time I might come close to latching on to a particular track.
As with hopefully all genres of music, I’m trying to keep an open mind as I expect there may be more of this along the way. Electronic dance music (EDM) is a major sensation around the globe. I have a friend and coworker who DJs in this element as her life’s passion, and each year as I drove past the EDM festival in Orlando after a night of teaching, I was intrigued and fascinated by the tight grip this world has on its audience. That said, at least with this album, there isn’t enough of something, whether it be alluring hooks, bouncy bass lines, remarkable vocals, or thought-provoking lyrics to personally keep me interested.
Even as I gave the title track and the other three singles from the album, “Frontier Psychiatrist”, “Radio” and “Electricity” another pass looking for something I could hold on to, it just didn’t stick. I do love that the name of one of their songs, and also the working title of the album, is “Pablo’s Cruise”. I can certainly acknowledge that it is a complex and demanding production, but I’m probably going to leave most of this behind me as I move forward here.