Julian Lynch
Mare


4.5
superb

Review

by For Meatplow USER (61 Reviews)
June 29th, 2010 | 51 replies | 10,696 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Julian Lynch returns with a new, refined take on his art-pop sound.

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

You'd never expect someone like Julian Lynch, an ethnomusicology student, to be able to create something so laid-back and sensual as Mare. Acting on preconceived notions alone, you'd think that he was some musical stiff, trying to craft some new, artsy-fartsy take on new wave or something just as obscure and/or pretentious. But, his debut, Orange You Glad, proved that he's beyond calm and charming, crafting personal and eclectic pop gems rather than over-the-top, experimental epics. Now, on his sophomore album, Mare, he's simply refining this low-key, near-instrumental sound that touches upon several world styles, folksy placidity and melancholic, ambient swells. No longer does Lynch feel the need to interrupt the flow of the album with an eleven minute epic smack dab in the middle of the album ("The Flood"); he's now aware that he does just fine under the six minute mark, and that his genre-synthesis doesn't need to be that long-winded to be successful. And let me tell you what, he's so much better for it.

The album opens with the engaging, yet surprisingly tranquil "Just Enough," which combines a saxophone, a Latin-meets-American-folk percussion style, and mumbling vocals; it's also emblematic of the album as a whole. Mare is an intelligent and entertaining combination of psychedelic pop and experimental characteristics. Strange woodwind melodies and acoustic guitar lines take center stage on the album's tracks, allowing the vocals to become part of the instrumentation rather than a prominent melody. This sort of carefree and unobtrusive style only exemplifies the album's haze. "Interlude" is the most literal interpretation of this timbral and trippy sound, aided by a directive guitar arrangement designed to keep the synth and vocal drones from stumbling into boring territory. It's this sort of force that pushes forward the less pop tracks and gears them away from Pointlessville. As well, the pop elements (most notable on tracks like "Travelers") keep the album from becoming sad, angry, or unobservant. Remember: no matter how experimental or eclectic the ideas, Lynch's work is warm and inviting.

"In New Jersey" is a Tabla-bending gem, and the first six tracks are relatively woozy; however, Mare doesn't intimidate. Lynch's compositions are actually very comforting, no matter how much his signature brand of atmospherics take the lead, no matter how many types of folk music he incorporates into a track, and no matter how smeared the melodies are because of the production ethic. It's this sort of accessibility that elevates Mare to new heights, thus solidifying it as one of 2010's best releases so far.



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user ratings (27)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bitchfork
June 29th 2010



7584 Comments


A quick write-up for an album that's been streaming on his bandcamp page for a while.

Indie kids get now.


porch
June 29th 2010



8452 Comments


[i]Mare[/i[

fix that

good review

Ghostechoes
June 29th 2010



1353 Comments


You should have posted this earlier, dude, not one day after Pitchfork's Best New Music review was issued.

AggravatedYeti
June 29th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I rly rly want this but I've got no tiiiiime.
give me a record run down in 10 words or less Bitchy.

Bitchfork
June 29th 2010



7584 Comments


Ghostechoes: I haven't been on that site for a we ek or so but I figured since yesterday was the release date that someone would have done it. Honestly, I was surprised no contributors or staff covered it.

AggravatedYeti: that long?

Bitchfork
June 29th 2010



7584 Comments


Porchular: fixed.

KnuckleChowder
July 1st 2010



157 Comments


Nice review. Sputnik sure is posting a lot of standard User reviews to the front page. Avoiding paying their staff maybe?

Enotron
July 1st 2010



7695 Comments


He requested it in the meds thread, something I wasn't aware you could do(would've done this with ariel pink, sed non satiata etc.)

Ire
July 1st 2010



41749 Comments


Congrats on the feature

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2010



20855 Comments


Austin, I've decided you can write a mean review. Good stuff again here.

One thing I'd encourage though is to put some similar albums in the Reco by Reviewer section.

Willie
Moderator
July 1st 2010



15887 Comments


Nice review. Sputnik sure is posting a lot of standard User reviews to the front page. Avoiding paying their staff maybe?
If it's a slow week for staff reviews and the review is well-written, we have no problem with featuring "standard user reviews". Of course, just because a request is put into the meds thread doesn't mean it will be featured (and just because a request wasn't put in doesn't mean it won't be featured anyway).

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

porch
July 1st 2010



8452 Comments


You should feature the occasional old album

like a "classic of the week" section or something

idk posting drunk

Bitchfork
July 1st 2010



7584 Comments


Thank you KnuckleChowder, Ire and DaveyBoy for the positive words. To Davey: can't say there are many artists like this, I mean it's as eclectic as MPP, even with the same styles, but it's not similar at all in terms of execution: it's got the bedroom-pop aesthetic of Atlas Sound, but it sounds nothing like that either. It's even got the Souvenirs d'un Autre Monde vocal production, but again... it's not the same thing by any means.

Thank you, Willie (I'm assuming you were responsible for the feature), too. But for a staff rec (i don't know if you guys have a coverage chart or if it's first-come-first serve on terms of promos), but The Young Veins's new album, Vacation is a good opportunity for the staff to practice negative reviews.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 1st 2010



20855 Comments


When someone says "bedroom-pop", I automatically think of Owl City. For that, I apologize.

Bitchfork
July 1st 2010



7584 Comments


Ha. Just look at the average user rating.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
July 1st 2010



7026 Comments


KnuckleChowder has to be the most vomit-inducing name ever.

Bitchfork
July 2nd 2010



7584 Comments


Nah Stephenie Meyer is.

KnuckleChowder
July 2nd 2010



157 Comments


Knuckle Chowder
Baby Gravy
Ball Snot
Man Juice
Fountain of Life
Protein Shake
Face Paint
Love Mayonaisse

Take your pick, I chose the 'nicest' sounding of the list. ;)

Shrapnel94
July 2nd 2010



2213 Comments


Holy brotherfucker, I should listen to this.

Bitchfork
July 2nd 2010



7584 Comments


Yeah it's a bare necessity.


Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life

Wherever I wander, wherever I roam
I couldn't be fonder of my big home
The bees are buzzin' in the tree
To make some honey just for me
When you look under the rocks and plants
And take a glance at the fancy ants
Then maybe try a few

The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
That's why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life

Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Next time beware
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don't need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
Have I given you a clue ?

The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!

So just try and relax, yeah cool it
Fall apart in my backyard
'Cause let me tell you something little britches
If you act like that bee acts, uh uh
You're working too hard

And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you




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