Blue Sky Black Death
Slow Burning Lights


3.0
good

Review

by robin EMERITUS
December 9th, 2008 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Clicking and tapping into action, this is one innovation that never quite gets going.

For whatever credentials Blue Sky Black Death had intended to fill with Slow Burning Lights – be it making their temporary recruit Yes Alexander a budding star or simply putting them on the map for more than just hip hop producers – what comes out is just their ‘final curtain’ of 2008. Seeing as how the album was actually compiled, recorded and completed the other side of last January, should this really make sense? Yes and no. Because it’s so in tune with Late Night Cinema but almost predating it in certain ways, the pure scenery covered in Slow Burning Lights is a representation that plays to their landscaping talents, so yes. Also, because the team’s third-time-lucky move of the year dabbles with old tricks and new ones (in equal measures crafted trip hop and dream-pop) surely ending this way is a welcome pleasantry? Certainly, but here’s three people concluding another year with a gift far too nonchalant to ever overshadow its counterparts.

Slow Burning Lights never really sounds like an album that matters to either group. To Yes Alexander especially, it should mean more; she is of course headlining the release, and the problem is that she doesn’t sound all that convinced about it. Her voice is a sketchy, borderline soul attempt that comes off rigid and considering the pretty landscape provided by her partners, heartless. She swoons some of the most relevant words possible on “Honestly” – how could a whimper of Please don’t you think of me/I’m nothing obviously come out so still? These words are precise because Slow Burning Lights really becomes this motto: it’s an album so intent on laying the listener to rest that it actually becomes eager to fly over your head. Really, this is down to the almost awkward interplay abound because at some point, the album splits into less of a collaboration and more of a mingling of two parties. For Blue Sky Black Death, exhausted by their own unbelievable presence for music this year, they seem to simply lay down the beats, the claps and the keyboards, and let Yes Alexander play around with her backdrop. Basically, the trio of musicians have created slow-beating indie pop that melodically is restrained from becoming its own art by a lack of communication - only “Tokyo Underground” gets it right, luxurious piano broadly spread behind a finally insistent voice. It’s the sound of the collaborators understanding each other, and it never returns.

With its elusive, summery singing making the primary call to a well-deserving broadcast, the indie pop of Slow Burning Lights is hardly aspiring to appeal to the same people who yearned for the soothing instrumental hip hop in Late Night Cinema or A Heap Of Broken Images. Even so, the beats that secretly govern Slow Burning Lights show off Kingston and Young God warming to their authentic instrumental authority, and in such it’s so easy to see leftovers of their year recycled in the foot-tapping “Hot Night” or the musically revolving “Once Away” – to them, it’s business as usual. And so it should be for Yes Alexander, who is unknowingly given the chance to shine in a rather backwards move for (self-proclaimed) indie pop. Instead, she contributes to a laid-back, trip hop wound out album that can never really ignite the catchiest moments of music.

Still, for its fresh theme and belated release, Slow Burning Lights isn’t the first sign of Blue Sky Black Death burning out on new material – it’s just the duo’s way of bowing out of an active, diligent year.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mendigo
December 9th 2008


2299 Comments


you definitely deserved you contributor status, awesome read.
I really enjoyed Late Night Cinema, and thought about getting this but after reading the review... well, maybe I still will as I do not dislike Indie Pop either.

robin
Emeritus
December 9th 2008


4249 Comments


thanks a bunch. still worth a look, i suppose.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 9th 2008


4950 Comments


BSBD are sluts.

Spamue1G
December 9th 2008


1292 Comments


Probably the most informative review I've read since... Well, your last one. That contributor status, as Mendigo said, is well-deserved!
I'm not really interested in getting this after reading this review - Is there anything like it that's really good? It sounds like the kind of thing that I might like.

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
December 9th 2008


862 Comments


God damn, your reviewing has been shit hot lately Robin. This isn't something I'd be interested in though.

robin
Emeritus
December 9th 2008


4249 Comments


spamuel and matt, check out late night cinema if you havent. something for everyone.
as to kingsoby, yes, but theyre THE PEOPLE'S sluts

tarethere
March 5th 2009


184 Comments


im only four tracks in, but dayum, do i disagree

P13
July 20th 2009


1327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like this album.

BallsToTheWall
January 22nd 2010


44713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cant believe I started listening to this 2010. Incredible album.

Digging: Reverend Bizarre - Return to the Rectory

robin
Emeritus
January 23rd 2010


4249 Comments


i agree that this is awesome now

BallsToTheWall
January 23rd 2010


44713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stillness.......is too great of a song for any words to describe.

Cognautic
March 2nd 2011


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I felt that Blue Sky Black Death made some beautiful instrumentals, but for a little under half the album Yes Alexander didn't sing with much passion or energy. However, when Stillness began, it seemed to have took off, with energy filling her singing. All in all, a very enjoyable album.

Gyromania
August 20th 2014


15941 Comments


not as familiar with this album. gonna play it tonight



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