BT
These Hopeful Machines


3.0
good

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
February 3rd, 2010 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Highly accessible, a record to enjoy singularly or through a glo-stick illuminated, sweat-drenched rave

This Binary Universe was not only a defining electronic record of 2006, but it may even be remembered centuries from now - and with good reason, as it far exceeded all expectations fans and colleagues alike had for Brian Transeau (aka "BT"). Mastered in 5.1 surround sound, it was a sprawling, cross-genre piece of epic proportions - jazz, downbeat, house, ambient, and even classical-bent soundtrack influence, it was all there. This alone is the primary detractor from These Hopeful Machines. It's not that BT fails in any sense of the word - quite the contrary actually. His latest machination is bound to have lasting appeal on top of the electronic charts, in the clubs, and all over the globe in places where people actually care about their house music.

And most of those places will absolutely adore the infectious pop-come-breakbeat breakdowns of These Hopeful Machines. Gone are the experimental qualities of BT's past - the sweeping orchestrations, trademarked stutters, and IDM breaks - in their place are driving club anthems, soaring vocals, and a compositional structure that forgoes the unique traits of Binary Universe for glo-sticks and addictive appeal. This isn't so much intelligent dance music as it is dance music that's intelligent; the stutters are still here but in more of a breaks application, and the glitch-laden nature of BT's work is (as always) everpresent. Most specifically, Transeau aptly applies his 80s synth-pop upbringing; "Enjoy the Silence" era Depeche Mode is here in full, especially on cuts like "Suddenly" and "Love Can Kill You". Even some of the vocal performances channel an immature version of Dave Gahan himself (Christian Burns on the opener and what seems to be Transeau himself). While some of these featured performers detract slightly from the overall artistic endeavor (JES on "Every Other Way" is an apposite example of this), most are appropriate in emphasizing the current mood.

In contrast, "Rose of Jericho" brings back fond memories of its experimental precursor: glitching off-tempo beats, phase changes, volume swells, and nearly wet ambient atmospherics abound. "Le Nocturne De Lumiere" acts as an IDM representative on the second disc as well - but this time from a more brooding perspective, post-something in its appeal. And this conversely brings to mind a serious detractor. These Hopeful Machines is long. Too long, and them some, with almost two hours worth of somewhat shallow pop-slanted electronica and an average song length of close to ten minutes. It's almost impossible to listen to the entire thing in one sitting, especially without rewinding to the stronger tracks.

Even though he may be taking a few steps back here, this time around there's no mistake: BT can effectively morph his compositional talents to be all-encompassing. These Hopeful Machines is accessible to all, a record one can not only enjoy listening to singularly, but also a sweat-drenched midnight rave. It's apparent through his discography that Transeau is a modern genius of electronic music and this chameleon-like ability to please any given audience is an incredible skill, yet also undesirable for fans of his previous works.

Recommended Tracks:
"Suddenly"
"The Emergency"
"Rose of Jericho"
"Forget Me"
"Love Can Kill You"
"Le Nocturne De Lumiere"



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user ratings (81)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Rudy K. STAFF (3.5)
The work of a scattered genius....


Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
February 3rd 2010


10510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sobhi this is the longest review you've written in months lol.....fits the album well

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 3rd 2010


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah, i had this partially done when you posted yours. otherwise i wouldn't have even started -_-

been rocking out to this for the past week.

Knott-
Emeritus
February 4th 2010


10198 Comments


Forget Me rules so hard good review i still need the album lol

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 4th 2010


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah it does. there's at least a single album of solid to awesome material here... it's too bad it's stretched over two albums. i could have easily bumped this up to a 3.5, but looking at the perspective of someone who hasn't listened yet, that is definitely a severe detractor.

also, you all need to listen to Violator by Depeche Mode. it's nearly what BT-gone-pop is trying to do here, but not as crazy breakdowns.

Slimjim367
February 4th 2010


512 Comments


loli read 'BT' and was like
someone named their project bottle toke?

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2010


10510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

slippery mods, very slippery

Ponton
Emeritus
February 4th 2010


5806 Comments


At least you got a day in the spotlight with it. It would have been worse if they hadn't gave you the other feature too, I bet haha.

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

AggravatedYeti
February 4th 2010


7685 Comments


I should get this...

yas666eer
February 6th 2010


270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

immensely enjoyed the first 10 mins... gets null after that

Zip
February 6th 2010


5312 Comments


I don't even like electronica but something about the way you wrote it makes me interested

Thompsonhunt
February 6th 2010


279 Comments


you're a good review writer mayne; I'm checking this out

burnafterbreeding
February 6th 2010


1466 Comments


album cover looks like an anime adam lambert

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 6th 2010


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Definitely worth checking out guys.

I've been listening to:

"Suddenly"
"The Emergency"
"Forget Me"
"Love Can Kill You"

nearly on repeat for two weeks. catchy as hell. and super lol at the cover

PirateSquid
February 7th 2010


1881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

TODAY
IS THE DAY
THAT I LOOOOOOOOVE YOU

Such an artsy pop/trance album =o

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2010


7026 Comments


"Forget Me" was cool. Should I check out the full thing or just download select tracks?

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 9th 2010


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

It depends. Check out the tracks I rec'd. Then check out the whole thing.

Desolator
February 14th 2010


191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been listening to this album and This Binary Universe back to back... it spans about 4 hours. ;)

BT makes me crave for more electro.

Anyone else find the child singing in Forget Me awkward?

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 14th 2010


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yeah it's kinda unnecessary.

BallsToTheWall
February 17th 2010


44713 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cant stop listening to Suddenly. Cant find the album so guess I will buy it.

Digging: Reverend Bizarre - Return to the Rectory

PirateSquid
February 17th 2010


1881 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

TODAY
IS A DAY
THAT I LOOOOOOOVE YOU

That song made me tear up a bit when I heard it ;-;



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