Review Summary: Glasser is an artist to watch, and with this album, Cameron Mesirow has marked her territory.
Like many good indie albums, Ring
is the kind of album that someone slaps on your desk and enthusiastically pushes you to listen to. “What is it?” you’d ask, tentatively eyeing the album artwork.
Your friend, ever the maddening obscurist, says “Trust me, you’ll like this,” grinning toothily. Of course you’re reluctant to give it a shot (your friend’s smile looked a tad mischievous) but you humor him/her and decide to listen to the record later anyway. As the infectious drumming of “Apply” greets your ears, your original ambivalence begins to melt away; maybe this album will be better than expected.
A marimba stammers. Flutes trill like licking flames, and synths buzz in determined badassery. And above the rest of the (literal) bells and whistles she pulls out for us, singer Cameron Mesirow’s agile vocals fit snugly within the intricate sonic tapestry. The effect is certainly magical in its own respect; each track scintillates with remarkable finesse. The sound, perhaps, is not unlike a purely hypothetical appearance of Florence Welch on Homogenic
. Unlike that album, however, Ring
is loosely constructed, and intentionally so. As Mesirow says herself, the title Ring
was chosen because she wanted to create an album that could start from any point. She’s achieved her goal; even when shuffled through, Ring
maintains a surprisingly good sense of continuity. Many of these songs toe the line between sentimentality and aloofness; on minimal tracks like “T” and “Clamour”, Mesirow works hard to channel emotion from behind the often icy sonic curtain. She mostly succeeds, although ultimately, Ring
’s warmest moments (album highlight “Home” comes to mind) are its most galvanizing.
Despite the music’s intrinsic beauty, Ring
, in the end, feels slightly inconsequential; it’s all undeniably lovely, but dig a little deeper and there isn’t much to sink your teeth into. This will probably be your favorite album for about two weeks before it starts to sound stale, and then it’ll sit on your shelf slowly gathering dust. But even if Ring
may seem slightly insubstantial at face value, there’s enough great material on this impressively consistent and promising debut to keep coming back for more. Make no mistake - Glasser is an artist to watch, and with this album, Cameron Mesirow has marked her territory.