Atlas Sound
Logos


4.0
excellent

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
October 18th, 2009 | 178 replies | 22,443 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yet another jewel in a banner year for neo-psychedelic rock, Logos may be Bradford Cox's best album to date.

Last year’s Microcastle was quite the anomaly: it found Deerhunter, a fast-ascending band then known only for their discordant earlier albums and their kinda-annoying frontman, sharpening their sound, lessening the enveloping noise in favor of a more dreamier and lulling approach, and thus making their skewed psychedelia more accessible. But Microcastle wasn’t really that---accessible---instead being fragmented and moody, built on tracks that ran seamlessly into one another rather than focusing on really great songs (even though “Nothing Ever Happened” actually is a really, really great song).

Perhaps this was the reason that I’ve always held a weird opinion of the album. At times, when the mood struck or whatever the fuck, I couldn’t stop listening to Microcastle; at another time, I’d be deleting the album off my computer. Perhaps this was also the reason why I was so wary of Logos, the fourth solo album from Bradford Cox (again operating under the alias of Atlas Sound), Deerhunter’s aforementioned “kinda-annoying frontman”. Not that I wouldn’t give it a shot, but I was hesitant to: all of the ups-and-downs and growing-ons/growing-offs of Microcastle made it a difficult album to love; was Logos going to be the same?

Thankfully, no. Which is weird: Logos is Cox’s most varied album to date; it’s also his least cohesive. If anything, this should be problematic, but it’s not: there’s something about the way “Walkabout”, a bouncy summer jam that recalls water parks and 60s nostalgia, is placed after two melancholy and autumnal songs. Or “Quick Canal”, an inexplicable Krautrock-influenced monster---one that features absolutely none of Cox’s ethereal vocals, instead featuring Laetitia Sadier---that looms over the rest of the album like a sore thumb. These songs don’t make sense, especially compared to the bulk of Logos, which is mostly a sad, intimate album, combining some of Cox’s best lyrics with acoustically led songs and a fair share of vocal effects and electronics; best shown on “Kid Klimax” and “Attic Lights”. But that’s what makes Logos such an interesting listen: it, like the recently released Embryonic, throws all cohesiveness to the wind, preferring to be something that doesn’t really flow; thus every song stands out on its own. There aren’t any lazy or muddled instrumentals here; Logos instead asks, why waste album space for those when you can just have another song?

That most songs here are acoustic doesn’t mean Cox can hide behind monolithic layers of reverb and feedback, which is why his acute sense for songcraft is fully on display on Logos. This also helps exhibit his sense for melody: while some of his earlier catchy material was buried under minutes of meandering feedback (ahem, “Nothing Ever Happened”), songs like the spry “Shelia” and the melancholy “Criminals” instead leave his melodies bare and open, which is for the better.

Logos makes a weird left turn with its final two songs: just as it opened with two straight melancholic acoustic ballads, the album ends with some of its more experimental fare, which are also the most electronically-based tracks on the album. “Washington School” is a formless, psychedelic piece; “Logos” being a sprightly and atmospheric song that obscures Cox’s vocals completely. They’re some decisive stuff, yet tend to leave the listener strangely alleviated, especially the title track: it’s the perfectly weird, yet high-energy song to get anyone out of their bedroom. That is, when they return to listen to this album again, of course.



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user ratings (246)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
robin
Emeritus
October 18th 2009



4221 Comments


this better be a grower. i trust you

Kiran
Emeritus
October 18th 2009



5992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is waaaay better than 'let the blind..' imo

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 18th 2009



3743 Comments


you better like this robin or i swear to god


and i agree. let the blind... was really disappointing, i only got that a couple weeks ago

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2009



14884 Comments


walkabout/shelia own

joshuatree yo check this shit out (unreleased track that he played at atp ny 09)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nbmYWI11HI


good album

tho it's weird you like this more than microcastle/cryptograms, oh well

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 18th 2009



3743 Comments


i like microcastle more sometimes; depends on the mood

and wth that song was good

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2009



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i fuckin love this album

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

robin
Emeritus
October 18th 2009



4221 Comments


i fuckin love this album


hey where's your picture from

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2009



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

chan's facebook

CelestialDust
October 18th 2009



3155 Comments


lolllllllllllllll

NortherlyNanook
October 18th 2009



1285 Comments


album's awesome

Skyler
October 18th 2009



1084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is waaaay better than 'let the blind..' imo


yeah, loads better.

my favorite track here is probably Quick Canal.

devsol
October 18th 2009



347 Comments


good review, as a deerhunter fanboy i may have to hear this

Prophet178
October 18th 2009



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is really weird, I don't think it will ever be a 4 for me, but its worth listening to. Reminds me of AC a bit.

cbmartinez
October 19th 2009



2525 Comments


this album is good, it completely succeeds where i thought his first album fell short. on the first one, i appreciated what he was trying to do with the sample loop based psychedelic thing but i thought it was only executed well on a few songs (namely "River Card," "Cold As Ice," and "Recent Bedroom"). On this album, i think he succeeds in utilizing repetition and simplistic minimalism creatively while remaining catchy. "Walkabout" is one of my favorite songs of the year, an awesome collaboration. "Shelia" is a great pop song, and Cox's lyrics and vocal melodies (which have also expanded and improved considerably since the first LP) make it sound like a twisted Beach Boys song. I think "Kid Klimax," Washington School," and "Criminals" are other highlights. Overall, good album, definitely an improvement but I think there's still room for more. Besides, I think his material with Deerhunter is much more compelling.

plane
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2009



6073 Comments


This is about as good as his first album, just more user-friendly.

Circa4life
October 19th 2009



289 Comments


I am really liking this so far, I have not listened to any of there other stuff but I like this.

feav233
October 19th 2009



1411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album is pretty sweet

MaskAtTheMasquerade
October 20th 2009



2792 Comments


so far so great

MaskAtTheMasquerade
October 20th 2009



2792 Comments


cox is maaaaad skinny yo

joplinpicasso
October 20th 2009



427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Marfan's Syndrome



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