Review Summary: Lunik's second album is still more Trip-Hop than Pop, allowing them to maintain their identity and not sound like one of the masses.Lunik
are a band from Switzerland that started out playing Electronica with most of their influence coming from Trip-Hop. They were able to set themselves apart from the crowd due to the beautiful vocals of Jael and their ability to write hooks into the songs. Apparently Lunik saw the potential commercial success of their beautiful vocalist combined with their strong song writing skills, and they slowly began moving away from their electronic roots until they finally became a completely organic acoustic-based Pop band on their fourth album Preparing to Leave
. Their second album Ahead
saw the band take their first steps into the Pop style, but they still managed to maintain all the electronic elements of their debut.
The best way to describe the music on this album is with the word “chill”. Most the beats are just chilled Trip-Hop inspired beats, with various electronic elements including some low-fi beeps and noises played over them. Acoustic guitars make a larger appearance on this album then the last one, but they’re mostly just part of the whole song and are never the main element (that would come on the next album). Of course the main focus of the music is the vocals of Jael. Her voice is just as chill as the music, often times just floating over it to complete the vibe.
Some of the best songs on this CD are the ones that stick to the chill Trip-Hop vibe such as the first single “Waiting”. This song was a good choice for the single as it features one of the catchier choruses on the CD, and is also one of the most developed songs, featuring a slow beat, smooth keys, and Jael’s beautiful vocals. Another standout track is the album closer, “Supernova”. This song is one of the slowest and most somber tracks on the album. It starts with a slow build up as waves of synth slowly fade in. Once the synth sounds reach full volume Jael’s vocals come in sounding absolutely depressed. The beat on this song is another chill one, but has a secondary rolling percussive sound that gives it more character then the other beats on the album.
Overall, songs like the album closer make this album an enjoyable listen, but there are a few flaws. My main complaint with the album is the occasional use of those low-fi sounds; those sounds that seem like they were lifted straight from an 8-bit Nintendo game. On songs such as “Static” they get away with it due to the great song writing and the additional instruments that make up the majority of the music, but they aren’t so lucky on other songs. On “Mastermind” the low-fi beeping makes up the main melody, and it feels more like you’re running around killing enemies on the first Zelda
game then listening to a legitimate song. That combined with a less developed chorus and minimal additional instrumental accompaniment makes it a slightly annoying listen. The other flaw on this album isn’t album wide; it’s just the song “Lie” which is solely acoustic guitar and Jael’s vocals. That wouldn’t be so bad, but it doesn’t go anywhere and is largely forgettable.
Lunik have been a band in flux since their second album, constantly adding more Pop elements on each release, and this album reflects their first steps into that territory. Overall, they did a good job of it because the songs are still largely electronic, but also feature catchier and more developed songs and melodies. If someone wanted to check this band out, I’d still have to recommend their next album Weather
over this one, as it features a perfect blend of their Trip-Hop past combined with the Pop sound they would wholly embrace on their fourth album Preparing to Leave
, but this is still a solid release none the less.