Review Summary: If Music does have the right to children, Boards of Canada are breeding a dynastic heritage.
They do what they do very well. The kind of music Boards of Canada plays just isn't fully understood at face value, nor can it ever be even upon dozens of scrutinizing listens. The Scottish IDM duo are the black hole of their genre, constantly pulling your mind in deeper and never letting you look back. Their sound feels like it can never be fully defined to the listener due to its enigmatic and mystic tone. In reality, all music can be considered interpretive art
, but then again, Boards of Canada seem so far from reality. What Boards of Canada do so well is create the type of music that evades the title "collection of songs" and wears "artistic movement" like a crown. Their songs have the lasting value and inspirational force to impact virtually everything around them, from their listeners to peers alike. Even if they do have peers, none of them can ever be as hard-hitting as Boards of Canada, and they can never create an album quite like Music Has the Right to Children
What separates this record from most electronic albums is its atmospheric intensity combined with a unique, genuine charm. Music Has the Right to Children
is very nostalgic in tone, often sounding warped and kaleidoscopic to sound either happy or sad based on your interpretation. "An Eagle in Your Mind", "Roygbiv", "Aquarius" and "Turquoise Hexagon Sun" all embody this feeling the best, and also serve as some of the album's highlights as well. Moods conveyed here have a wide range, even if they aren't easily fathomed. Music Has the Right to Children
has some easily identifiable atmospheres, but it also has some very different songs that seem to tread entirely new ground in this respect. Album opener "Wildlife Analysis" has an elusive vibe, one that could most accurately be associated with words like "fantasy" and "eerie", but fits the feel of a gleaming album opener best of all. "Kaini Industries" and "Happy Cycling" also have very unique moods. The creative and distinct feelings imparted among each song are one of the main facets to Music
's massive interpretive prospect.
So we understand that this album is very different for everyone, much like Boards of Canada's darker follow-up Geogaddi
. Between the two albums, it's without a doubt that Boards of Canada are masters of creating their own unique world. But what mold holds this realm of possibilities together? On Music
, the production utilizes hip-hop beats for its primary form of percussion, though other songs feel more formless. "Rue the Whirl" and "Sixyten" have great beats that cradle the eerie melodies at their hearts. On the other hand, "The Color of the Fire" has no percussion or beats to let one of the album's most bizarre and spooky melodies float shapelessly around with no recognizable rhythm to hold it together. Like many tracks on Music
, the song chimes away with higher-pitched computer noises with a murky, mellow undertone carrying it through. With all that said, "Roygbiv" stands as the album's strongest highlight, using a head-bobbing hip-hop beat, airy and smooth melody progression, and a very infectious, catchy allure. Its surprisingly powerful for how short it is in comparison to other tracks on Music
, and there's any good choice for a song to represent this album, its "Roygbiv".
The duo performs no vocals on the record, and instead sprinkle various samples of voices across their songs. "Aquarius" includes random samples of the word "orange", in addition to a woman counting in the later half. On "The Color of the Fire", like many songs here, samples a child's voice make up the vocal portion of the track, with a child saying "I love you" over and over. The children's vocals are usually handled in a spooky way, trying to sound unusual and haunting. This aspect works great just like every other part that makes up Music
Ultimately, despite my words seeming to kiss this album's ass, I don't expect you to give this a 5 at all. Rather, I advise you to listen to this without any expectations at all, because this album is at its best when you let its amorphous meaning take on your own personal shape. Just like Geogaddi
, there's interpretation to be loaned here, even if their 2002 album is a bit more fluid. This album is an essential to fans of Boards of Canada, and a great listen for fans of daydreamy electronic music or IDM. Its breezy and a bit subtle in its presentation, making Music Has the Right to Children
a very unique listening experience.