Avey Tare
Down There


2.5
average

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
December 14th, 2010 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: down where?

I don’t get it. Maybe I’m looking in all the wrong places, but Avey Tare’s Down There seems like an exhausting musical venture into the occult, dominated by odd textures and contorted vocals. He’s done this sort of thing before in the Collective, but therein lies the problem - he’s failing to paint from a palette that parts himself from Animal Collective in a positive light. What’s being attempted here is obviously darker in atmosphere than your typical Animal Collective tune, sure, but the departure doesn’t seem significant enough. Duly noting this, there are still some enjoyable moments scattered throughout; the only problem is that these moments are often short segments within aimless tracks. If anything, Down There acts as a blatant statement that Avey Tare simply cannot operate the way he wishes to outside of Animal Collective.

Opening track “Laughing Hieroglyphic” suggests great promise as it dabbles into the unknown. Avey manipulates an odd organ piece and repeatedly hits what sounds like tin cans. The song moves along in this pattern before a series of keys are randomly struck, leading it in favor of a more paranoid feel with a looped synthesizer being distorted and skipped. Its quirky nature falsely leads the listener to believe that the rest of the album will be as interesting, but it most certainly falls very, very short. Admittedly, proceeding track “3 Umbrellas” is interesting because it boasts the same morbid sounding synthesizer from “Laughing Hieroglyphic”, and ‘Oliver Twist”’s brooding beat and gritty atmosphere make it feel akin to Burial’s approach to music. Unfortunately, from here on out the album is mostly devoid of substance and creativity. The next couple of songs fly by without much notice. “Glass Bottom Boat” feels like a filler track that should have been turned into an interlude and “Ghost of Books” is far too minimal for its own good and annoys with Avey’s childish lulling. It’s not until the latter half of “Heather in the Hospital” that things start to pick up and spark interest again. The first half of the song feels somewhat unnecessary, but the last two minutes make it rise to the surface for a breath of fresh air. It’s bubbly in the way that Memoryhouse’s songs are. But we’re quickly jutted downwards again with the unbelievably dry closer “Lucky 1”, which takes a nose dive into a swamp of mediocrity. It lazily trudges along with fuzz as Avey Tare delivers a painfully dull, uninspired vocal performance.

There’s a fine line between obscurity and creativity and Avey Tare has straddled it up until this point, but this time he’s gone off the deep end and is now reveling in the shallow depths of the murky waters he treads. Perhaps he’s simply more well-suited in an actual band than humoring his idle fancies. At the end of the day, Avey’s solo debut is mostly inoffensive, but those partial to Animal Collective’s sound and/or Panda Bear’s solo outing will do well to seek those out and avoid this album. Certain ideas do stick, but overall it just seems like a down-trodden affair that’s lifeless at times; a sure party for the narcoleptic. All in all, it’s really not that much fun Down There.



Recent reviews by this author
Sadistik Flowers For My FatherFoals Holy Fire
Lindstrom SmalhansFrank Ocean Channel Orange
The Antlers Burst ApartSoulsavers The Light The Dead See
user ratings (138)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Alex Robertson STAFF (4.5)
...

Eno (4)
Everything you loved and hated about MPP, manipulated, reducted, and translated by Avey Tare....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
December 14th 2010


15712 Comments


This review languished in my 'Google Docs' account for months, and I decided to form a full review out of it. I acknowledge that it's nowhere near my best review, but a good chunk of it was written a while back and I felt that the site needed a lower review offering a different perspective, so I just kind of put it out there without much thought.

Enotron
December 14th 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

great album, good review tho

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2010


7026 Comments


Great review. I agree with your views based on what I've managed to listen to from this. Didn't find much to enjoy.

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2010


15035 Comments


album is great but reasonable opinion; minus '3 umbrellas' this was my opinion ~week ago

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2010


15737 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oliver twist is so good. so is lucky 1. maybe i was wrong about this, idk yet

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

Ponton
Emeritus
December 14th 2010


5793 Comments


agreed

ace job matt

Enotron
December 14th 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

laughing hieroglyphic is so fucking good

"and when I get fucked up, I do my best not to fuck up again"

starting to agree with lewis' soundoff a bit more

AggravatedYeti
December 14th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

at certain times this is perfect


Gyromania
December 14th 2010


15712 Comments


Thanks for the comments and compliments guys! I have to be honest with you, I started enjoying this a bit more as I started reviewing it, but I sincerely doubt it will ever be better than average for me.

oliver twist is so good. so is lucky 1. maybe i was wrong about this, idk yet

I think Lucky 1 is atrocious... I'm surprised that you like it.

laughing hieroglyphic is so fucking good

Yeah, I really do like that one.


AggravatedYeti
December 14th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lucky 1 may be the best thing on here save Oliver Twist...

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2010


15035 Comments


when i turn on this album i always start off a little disoriented with laughing hieroglyphic (at
first i was like, "oops he forgot to write a melody") but the
song literally just gets better and better and better

oliver twist is just awesome, sort of an animal collective take on the knife. the back half is
great

after that is where most people stop liking it but "glass bottom boat" just delves you further
underwater; eh filler my ass. ghost of books can be a little hard to get into but "keep trying" i
guess is all i have to say. cemeteries is beautiful. heads hammock is the same as "ghost of books"
but screw you if you dont like that pseudo-female (really just avey with a voice modifier) vocal
spot. awesome. heather in the hospital i think is the best songwriting wise here, really beautiful
stuff. lucky 1 i didnt like when i first heard it but check out that melody! "flyyyyy" etc. purely
that "beach boys" thing every one keeps talking about

and then it all works really well together so yes!

laughing hieroglyphic is probably my favorite

Enotron
December 14th 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Lucky 1 is truly something the vocals and textures are mesmerizing

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2010


6094 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Great album. Don't agree with anything in your review.

4200

Gyromania
December 14th 2010


15712 Comments


I've warmed up to a few songs on here and I still like the opening two tracks. I'd say that maybe it's one of those albums that requires more time, but I feel like I've given it a fair amount.

Not a single thing, eh?

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2010


15035 Comments


haha classic lewis

pizzamachine
December 14th 2010


12571 Comments


It's alright Gyroscope, I didn't like this either. Good review though!

Gyromania
December 14th 2010


15712 Comments


Thanks man.

Jash
December 14th 2010


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

good review man. this was disappointing for sure, although its not a bad album

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2010


7283 Comments


Damn fine review Gyro. Now it's my turn to not entirely understand what you're talking about up there when you say this review isn't up to par with your previous work.

Pos.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 14th 2010


10594 Comments


This was a damn fine read man, a damn fine read.

Digging: Grouper - Ruins



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