Review Summary: Transcendent.
There's always the fear of overplaying a new release that you've come to know and love after the first few listens or so. That moment is always seemingly looming; where you've been around the album's block one too many times and there's no more surprise or exhiliration anymore from listening. It happens to the best of them and in some cases is impossible to combat. So you try your damn hardest to resist, attempting to occupy your mind with anything other than the wonderful hyperbolic release that has just been layed upon you. There are times when you succeed; where you can put the album down for a few days and then pick it back up again only to be thrown back into the world you love and at that point, an album becomes rather special.
However, with Love Remains
, it just doesn't ***ing matter
. You may attempt to pry your ears away from Tom Krell's out-of-this-world lo-fi R&B adventure, and you will fail. Miserably. Because when it comes to Love Remains
, you are at the mercy of one of the most addicting, enjoyable, and engaging albums of 2010. And the most beautiful thing about it is, Love Remains
knows just how incredibly irresistable it is; it knows you will try to leave it alone and it sure as hell knows you will be back for more in no more than a moment. It's as if Love Remains
lets you know that it's ok to go, if only because it is assured that you will be back. It's wonderful, because Love Remains
is a friend rather than a diabolical enemy. And ironically, Tom Krell doesn't exactly present the most accessible music out there; Love Remains
is essentially a compilation and therefore feels disjointed and flowless. Tracks like "Can't See My Own Face" and "Date Of Birth" fly by so quickly under Krell's soothing falsetto that it's difficult to ever get a grasp on them, even if they are structurally sound. Not to mention, there are moments where Krell's DIY flourescent fantasy is grating, as his voice blooms out of the music so forcefully at times you're taken aback and eventually dazed.
But overall, the little moments of abrasiveness is irrelevant as the majority of Love Remains
will test your ability to stand still and not be submerged by overwhelming euphoria. Opening track "You Hold The Water" immedietaly transports you to this ghastly universe with choir-like beauty in the form of Krell's gorgeous vocal melodies underneath waves of sonic shards and pulsating life. It's really a transcendant experience, only accentuated by the tracks that follow; "Ready For This World" is Krell's first true take on R&B on the album and it simmers along beautifully; "You Won't Need Me Where I'm Goin" is the metaphorical centerpiece of the album where Krell's cerebral hopefulness shines through into the music and it makes things very hard if you're shy about immediately starting to sway and close your eyes and dream, no matter where you are. "Walking This Dumb", even though it's recorded live on the album, is fantastic; the pounding drum and bass combo over Krell's angelic croons is the easy winner of the "let's ***ing rave right now" award for 2010, and nothing will come close in the next 3 months.
So as I try and ultimately fail to take out my blaring headphones for God knows how long, Love Remains
will envelop my body, soul, and mind in its nigh-unstoppable pursuit for transcendence. It's a truly unique listen, as the only album that I can think of that comes close to this aesthetic is Burial's 2007 Untrue
. But where Untrue
felt gritty and underground, Love Remains
is up in the clouds, smiling down at our hopeless souls, knowing full well that we are powerless to succumb to its majestic qualities. And that's ok, because Love Remains
isn't out to get us, it's out for us.