How to Dress Well
Love Remains


4.5
superb

Review

by Alex Silveri EMERITUS
September 27th, 2010 | 603 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Immersive, Cold, Beautiful.

There’s a moment, wedged in the middle of “Ready for the World”, where Tom Krell lets the shrill sound of a screaming whistle pierce the otherwise innocuous drape of swirling melody that hangs over Love Remains. In fact, he does it twice, and twice only. But realize this: that those two singular whistles, these bursts of caustic white noise, are perhaps the most remarkable instants to be found etched across the skin of this spellbinding record. There are a few reasons for this. The first is the most general: Krell is astonishingly good at this sort of sonic sculpturing, prying and pulling at his Rn’B sprinkled ambience with a touch so delicate it’s almost as if all he had to do was coax the sounds out of a gem that’s been lying there all along. The second is more specific: just before the whistles make their mark, “Ready for the World” lapses into a split second of silence more deafening than any noise after it, pregnant with a tension so heavy it could cleave the song right in two.

And if anything, the rest of Love Remains works within this precise swing of the pendulum, left to right and back again, tick tok, tick tok. And it’s as subtle as that too: a dynamic so barely perceptible, yet with the gravity of time itself… well, at the very least, Krell can make you feel as though it was. Maybe it’s the voice. Hazy and indistinct, the comparisons to Justin Vernon haven’t been far off, but the Krell’s is less a cry than it is a textured instrument unto itself, laden with soulfully infected falsetto that stretches from ghostly chorus lines to heavy panting – like, actual panting – while straddling the edge of fragility throughout. And make no mistake, Love Remains is no sook. While the early tracks only hint at what’s to come, by the time the record works its way to “Walking this Dumb”, those with lesser audio equipment will find their guts warbling only at half the severity of their better endowed musical aficionados.

The last person to capture this dark swirl of intensity so effectively was perhaps none other than the enigmatic Burial; but where Burial catered for specific moods – broken streetlamps and gritty urban streets – How To Dress Well takes that mood and abstracts it tenfold, rocketing it into fractal world, more liquid than digital. This, incidentally, also marks the difference between the so-called lo-fi aesthetic and the whateverthehell aesthetic that Love Remains captures – Yes, most of it was recorded in Krell’s bedroom, and yes, at nearly every point of stress tracks will clip and crackle under the strain. But let’s be clear about this: even if the sound itself is practically indistinguishable from the slew of lo-fi homebaked acts out there, the musical function that those fractures play are so far removed that it belies the imagination to even consider Love Remains as trying to capture the same thing.

There’s no pandering to authenticity here, no appeal to the emotion: Love Remains doesn’t drag you into its world with any sort of force whatsoever so much as it places square within it, naked and indifferent. In another universe perhaps, “You Won't Need Me Where I'm Goin” might sound desperate, the title lyric itself being the only clearly decipherable one among a haze of fuzz and bass, but here, it’s cold and immersive, crying out for no one in particular. Even where the Rn’B element is at its most present, at it’s most soulful, like the pulse driven “Endless Rain” or “Mr. By & By”, it does so only as a montage, detached as a glimpse into what may-have-been. Krell’s genius of course, is to have made it all inescapable. And perhaps the most heartening thing is to know that in an age saturated by bedroom producers covered with shitgaze and post-fuck, the best of it can yet inspire.

4.5/5



Recent reviews by this author
Finch (US) EpilogueThe Saddest Landscape You Will Not Survive
Lydia AssailantsDanger Mouse and Sparklehorse Dark Night of the Soul
M.I.A. MayaBroken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record
user ratings (281)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Luke Rhinehart (5)
No Air...

Sam Feldman's Rating (5)
Transcendent....


Comments:Add a Comment 
HighandDriving
September 27th 2010


3288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Digging this.

liledman
September 27th 2010


3826 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review, fantastic album.

"even if the sound itself is practically indistinguishable from the slew of lo-fi homebaked acts out there, the musical function that those fractures play are so far removed that it belies the imagination to even consider Love Remains as trying to capture the same thing"

very well said.

MaskAtTheMasquerade
September 27th 2010


2887 Comments


this sounds interesting

DoubtGin
September 27th 2010


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the only song I've listened to from this was good but nothing outstanding.. might listen to the whole thing

Transient
September 27th 2010


1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love your work, silveri

DBlitz
September 27th 2010


1690 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sounds interesting

sphygmo
September 27th 2010


92 Comments


Album is utter shit and anyone pretending to enjoy it is lying to themselves. When you intentionally make your album lofi to the point in which there is overtly distracting static lining every track you know something is drastically wrong. And the reviewer giving this tripe a 4.5 while writing gibbering bullshit about Age of Adz and giving it a 2.0 is beyond laughable.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 27th 2010


3772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I hate it when I lie to myself.



Wait Transient, are you Jump?

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

sphygmo
September 27th 2010


92 Comments


Oh and throwing the shitgaze and post-fuck into the review really makes your awful review credible btw.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 27th 2010


3772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'm sorry I can't hear you over the sound of the flying fuck I do not give about what you think.

Transient
September 27th 2010


1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha, didn't you know that alex?

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 27th 2010


3772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

No it just hit me! Hello! I though you had like died or something! Awesome.

Transient
September 27th 2010


1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hi! I just post way less because of all of the terribly unfunny people around nowadays.

robin
Emeritus
September 27th 2010


4249 Comments


i love reading your stuff but i haven't listened to this yet. sowee!

Transient
September 27th 2010


1461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hahaha, nice soundoff as well

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 27th 2010


3772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Transient: Yeah, I can't quite sort out one shitstack from another these days, but maybe it's because I'm getting old and grumpy. Good to know you're still around =) Also I wrote that while I was up to my ears in alcohol but I think it's the best sound off I've ever done, lol.

ty Robin

DiceMan
September 27th 2010


7068 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album is good but maybe average potential 2/5

plane
Staff Reviewer
September 27th 2010


6094 Comments


Naturally I find this album to be the bee's knees

PorkchopExpress
September 27th 2010


387 Comments


Been digging this guy for quite a while. Quick question. I have every (almost every) song on this album from him giving his stuff away for free for so long. I hear some songs have been re-touched in the studio. On iTunes I couldn't hear much of a difference. Is it noticable? I figure I'll get it regardless. The least I can do is throw the guy ten bucks for providing me with a song as amazing as "You Don't Need Me Where I'm Going" to listen to for the last few months.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
September 27th 2010


3772 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Lewis: Fuck yeah.

And Pork, last I read, this was basically recorded on a four track, so the touching up probably couldn't do all that much.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy