Review Summary: So many influences, so much sound, and in such a short time.
I would like to nominate Aereogramme’s Seclusion for Worst Album Title Ever. Why? Because it contradicts the music so much. The word seclusion, meaning privacy or hidden from the view of others, implies a subtleness about the album. Seclusion is certainly not a subtle album by any means. The outright beautiful melodies or pulsating rhythms are certainly not kept a secret from the listener. It is one of the most upfront and obvious albums in a long time, but that is certainly not a bad thing. Seclusion possesses a lot of content, but it is all audible and none of it finds itself overshadowed by anything else. All of the melodies, all of the rhythms, and all of the vocals contribute equally to the overall sound of Aereogramme. That overall sound, however, can be just about anything. Some songs are just straight up rock, with great moving guitar lines and soaring vocals with a bit of a melancholic tinge. Some songs, such as Inkwell
, are extremely uplifting while Dreams and Bridges
plays much more longingly. Even on this short half hour release, there is more variety than most albums. Aereogramme has many sounds to play with. From rock to electronica to string chamber orchestras, all kinds of fields of music make their way onto Seclusion.
opens the album, it’s an extremely unpredictable sound. With electronica blips and beeps in the background and a pounding rock beat driving the spastic guitar and bass chords that switch from beautifully major to dissonance on the fly, it’s almost too much to handle at once, but it settles in. Now that was a long sentence, but there’s really no better way to include everything about the sound. Then the vocals come in. Inkwell
revolves around the same progression, but it grows to a point of screaming guitar leads and even heavier drumming. On the opposite end of the album and musical spectrum, Alternate Score
draws references to Jaga Jazzist on The Stix, with a heavily electronica influenced orchestral work. The song has its moments of ambience and its moments of beautiful melody, full of suspended cymbal swells and rhythmic pulses. Alternate Score
possesses the only real subtle moments on the album, but still, the main melodies are obvious and in the forefront. It closes with a huge industrial drum beat and extremely high piano hits, a true mix of everything the album has to offer.
Lightning Strikes the Postman
, a Flaming Lips cover provides the album’s heaviest song. The chord progression, with the guitar suspensions, ascends in a way that is too happy for any song this heavy, but Aereogramme makes it work. It is also the shortest on the album, mainly because the song only has two ideas in it. So far, nothing bad about the album has been brought up, but the album’s centerpiece fails and brings it down quite a bit. The Unraveling
, which is about 11 minutes long, drags along, although it never plays a riff for too long. It starts off nicely, with a subdued and calm keyboard line and a static-infused drum beat, but then screaming, repetitive vocals come in, extremely out of place. Once clean vocals come in, the song sits where it should, but then the song’s second section has more instruments out of place. Down-tuned palm muted guitars sit behind the more guitar-oriented melody, but the melody is much more like the style from the first section. Once again, it saves itself with a great climax, but then the third section of the song is a watered down Lightning Strikes the Postman
. Albeit a few fantastic sections, The Unraveling
is a letdown.
The abundance of influences on Aereogramme’s sound is immense, and they make it all blend together in an incredibly unique sound. Seclusion, despite being a pretty bad album title, provides a wonderful listen if one can sit through The Unraveling
. It has great variety, with hard, heavy tracks like Lightning Strikes the Postman
, but it also has quiet, beautiful tracks like I Don’t Need Your Love
. Dreams and Bridges
combines the two sounds into what might be the best song on the album. The ending riff, which is simple and almost grunge-like, serves as great contrast from the rest of the album which features some very rapid material, not so much in tempo but in dexterity. Seclusion is for fans of electronica, post-rock, and even just straight up rock. All the influences truly include something for everyone.
Dreams and Bridges
Lightning Strikes the Postman