Dark Dark Horse
Centuries


4.5
superb

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
November 4th, 2010 | 14 replies | 6,596 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dark Dark Horse’s debut, "Centuries", represents an intrinsic dichotomy between cold ethereal sounds and warm enveloping tones.

Centuries is a paradoxical album, in that the sounds and feelings seemingly do not mesh, but rather, they are wholly polar. The calm vocals and piano are met with coarse glitches and chilled electronics. It should not sound as cohesive as it does, for the two sides of the album appear vastly opposite of each other. Be that as it may, Centuries still manages to captivate, sounding incredibly organic and fully realized. The album works so well because of this odd mixture, bringing a lot beauty and charisma to an otherwise tired and uninspired formula. One man singing over electronic tracks is nothing new, in fact, the format has been done to death. Yet Jamie Ward, of Maybeshewill and Kyte fame, brings a lot of freshness and originality to the mix. His keen sense of detail really pushes the album forward, with every track being polished to sheen, making Centuries one of this year’s true stand outs.

The main draw to Centuries is how balanced the album truly is. Neither aspect too oppressive, with the cool and collected alternative/indie blending perfectly with the incredibly well produced electronica. It is all so chill and low-key, with the vocals really taking center stage. While James Stafford doesn’t exactly break any vocal boundaries, he does a wonderful job in context to the overall vibe of the album. Both collected and self assured, Stafford really shines through, complimenting Ward’s digital work, rather than hindering it. Meanwhile, Ward’s work truly is the crux of the album. As stated previously, his intense sense of detail really makes the album shine, allowing for a very atmospheric, and wholly immersive experience. After all, the atmosphere is the most intriguing part of Centuries. The ebb and flow of the tracks really make the experience beautiful, with the concise yet airy production tying everything together. And oh how beautiful it is. Centuries is so complaisant and so composed, that the beautiful moments, however simplistic, really stand out amongst the light atmosphere .

It’s as difficult to find a bad track as it is to pick a standout. Even though things can sometimes drag on a bit because of the lack of tempo changes within the songs, each track is amiable in its own right. Whether it be the more percussive and quick “Sharks,” or the dreamy “Southwest of Orion,” Centuries has a lot to offer with its wide variety. “Mercury Nevada” is a rather large track, at eight minutes in length. While not exactly sprawling, it goes through some interesting shifts, making it one of the more intriguing songs on the album. “Midnight Mass” opens up with a succinct acoustic guitar, which leads into an electronic interlude. Little dashes of detail in each track are what make the whole such a treat to listen to. Each song has something a little different about, with bits of character and personality sprinkled through out.

Centuries is a wonderful experience. In its blissful simplicity, the album truly captivates with its beauty and character. Aside from the album dragging its feet in parts, it deftly avoids sounding gimmicky or contrived. When everything comes together, as it so often does, it is an amazing listen, through and through. Centuries is a highlight of 2010, and something not to be missed.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 4th 2010



10592 Comments


Went for a more concise format of review this time.

SPUTNIK: I implore you to hear this. It's really an awesome release, and I hope more of you will get behind it. That is all.

Captain North
November 4th 2010



6784 Comments


Ooh, Maybshewill, I will check this out.

Gyromania
November 4th 2010



15461 Comments


Exceptional review, however, there are some unnecessary commas scattered throughout. Pos.

JustJoe
November 4th 2010



1399 Comments


Add this to my ever increasing list of things to acquire. Good stuff, Xeno.

crazyblinddude
November 4th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh cool. Your review for this is up. This is really a great album. You sum it up very well in your review.

Sputnik definitely needs to check this out. Any fan of Kyte or Maybeshewill will love this. I'm surprised more people haven't checked out Kyte though.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2010



7164 Comments


Shit you've got me impressed. I really want to try this now.

Great review mate. Clearly, peer pressure helps you write in an even greater fashion. I will endeavor to annoy you on an hourly basis now.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 4th 2010



10592 Comments


Thank you for the kind words everyone!

pizzamachine
November 4th 2010



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"really standout amongst the light atmosphere ."
- "standout" should be "stand out"
- the period has an extra space

Otherwise, great review Xenophanes!


Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2010



7164 Comments


^ That was neg worthy, Xeno. You're lucky I didn't spot that.

Neg him pizzamachine, and neg him HARD!

pizzamachine
November 4th 2010



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahaha not gonna happen! But still, he has been warned.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 4th 2010



10592 Comments


I'm promise I'll fix it! I'm on my phone right now (studying....sort of....) but thanks for pointing it out. Funny thing is, I proof read the thing intensively haha, I apparently just didn't know stand out was 2 words. Hm, learn something new everyday ; )

Bitchfork
November 4th 2010



7584 Comments


get rid of the comma in the summary

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 4th 2010



10592 Comments


Thanks guys, I fixed

minty901
November 8th 2012



1978 Comments


so im going to see mono next month and dark dark horse is supporting. hadnt heard of them before. anyone know if this album is available for purchase anywhere? look forward to checking this out. review is great.



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