Review Summary: Ridiculous amounts of minimalism make half of Franz Joseph nearly unlistenable.
2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Removing process and composition from music often comes by a few disastrous hindrances, two of the most notable being the possibility that "free music" can be free to assume the shape of something completely incoherent and sloppy. Or perhaps the improvisations take hold of minimalism to such extremes that the result is a tedious chore. To an extent, Jordan Mathos's Franz Joseph fits into the latter category - turning primitive electroacoustic improvisation into an inconsistent release that oftentimes fails to make its minimalism interesting. The first track is comprised of bare-bones sine waves and a nasty violin, with indeterminate gaps of silence between the underdeveloped and extremely boring sounds. It's not as though the track is underdeveloped because Mathos's execution of his ideas is faulty; it's hard to find someone so comfortable with small speckles of musicality. The thing is that Mathos's ideas themselves are faulty. The sounds themselves aren't particularly impacting, and the track suffers tremendously because the ideas that are showcased have very little substance.
The second track, however, picks things up quite a bit with much more substantial improvisations. There's a much richer array of textures, the silences are more effective and the electroacoustic effects work with Mathos's obsession with droning sines. Trumpet noises are transformed into resplendent drones that pop up at random intervals, adding a much-needed variety to the album, since half of it is little more than a monochromatic blur. His newfound sense of melody and the ability to change mundane instrumentals into a more grandiose, introspective whole really turns the album around. But the first track is still very detrimental to the entire album.
Yeah, I would love some specifics, instead of you just saying "yeah, the first track is minimalistic, has violins, and has a
lot of boring sounds." I mean, you're probably right, but it ain't nothing that's going to convince me.
well i thought it was much more specific than you're giving it credit for. I think the review is good as a whole. My only problem with the review is it kind of sounds like you didnt like the first track but you did like the second track, and thats the end of it. But its hard to relate to your rating of 2.0 poor with that. Like at the end I think you should sum up your opinions of the whole thing, because a poor first track but absolutely breathtaking second track would be more like 3.5-4.0 IMO at least, whereas a terrible first track and good second track would be a 2. But its hard to know just how much you didnt like the first one and how much you did like the second one.
i feel like i wrote way too much to describe my opinion of the review and yet ended up not explaining myself very well. Hope you get what Im saying though. I do think its a good review (posing it right now), but thats just my one nitpick.
Great review, I'm going to check this out cause it still sounds like something I would enjoy hahahaha. Hey Austin, if you haven't listened to Fear Falls Burning's Frenzy of the Absolute, you might want to. Awesome drone/ minimalistic metal.