Blue Sky Black Death
NOIR


3.5
great

Review

by Dante Alighieri USER (85 Reviews)
June 2nd, 2011 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More awesomeness

Blue Sky Black Death - NOIR

West coast production team Blue Sky Black Death come together once again and present to us a collection of beats and synths in the form of NOIR. Having collaborated with artists such as the boys of CunninLynguists, Big Krit, Hell Razah, and Sadistik, the boys of Blue Sky have been active and busy in the scene since ’05, yet relatively unknown to the outside (mainstream) crowd. Late Night Cinema was the turning point for the team; featuring dark trip-hop inspired beats, cleverly placed samples and an overly dark atmosphere reminiscent to Endtroducing-era DJ Shadow. However, since then Blue Sky Black Death has been simply riding on the curtails and laurels of their fame and making albums that are a shadow of what they are truly capable of, never really grasping their full potential. NOIR is a continuation of that trend.

Things have been changed a bit on NOIR as compared to past Blue Sky releases. Now starting to heavily rely on a more synth and piano-like sound, it starts to borrow from a more Japanese style of hip-hop (Nujabes, Specifics, Uyama Hiroto, and Shing02). The same ‘boom-clap’ still prevalent in American instrumental hip-hop is present all throughout NOIR as well, yet the synths add a very interesting element of surrealism all throughout the listen. Opening track “Our Hearts of Ruin” is tag teamed with a simple yet haunting synth line throughout the entire song and “To The Ends of The Earth” borrow so heavily from Nujabes and the like that it’s difficult to differentiate the two. This also helps amplify the atmosphere of the album even more heavily. NOIR is a very dark album. Dark in the sense that every track carries a sense of depression, solitude, and foreboding; Blue Sky Black Death capitalize on their ability to craft highly well thought out beats and marry it with a very doom and gloom like sound.

But the fact of the matter remains is that NOIR becomes highly repetitive after repeated listens. At more than an hour in length, featuring fourteen fully fleshed out songs, the album tends to overstay its welcome. While far from becoming redundant, NOIR just doesn’t carry enough variety and spice to keep the listen fresh and memorable. Granted, every song has its own distinct beat and sound, yet the songs themselves carry no depth outside of the initial thirty seconds and sporadic samples thrown in every once in a while. But the samples alone cannot pull the album out from dragging out longer than it should. Good music to fall asleep to, yet nothing outside of primary face value.

However, Blue Sky Black Death have succeeded in creating a successful album by their shear tenacity of crafting beats that can set an atmosphere that few artists in both trip-hop and hi-hop just cannot step up to. NOIR might be a tad shallow in its depth and not nearly a fully realized piece of art, but it does keep the hype and potential of the group alive and well. It wouldn’t be surprising if the album does little to help Blue Sky Black Death breakthrough to new fans but for those who are familiar with the production team there can be nothing but positive praise for the group.



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user ratings (75)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
June 2nd 2011


12571 Comments


Nice review.

killrobotmusic
June 2nd 2011


670 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sleeping Children Are Still Flying is one of their best songs to date.

Relinquished
June 2nd 2011


25198 Comments


cool review Isaac Wastman

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2011


31357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Things have been changed a bit on NOIR as compared to past Blue Sky releases. Now starting to heavily rely on a more synth and piano-like sound


You obviously didn't hear their last album

This got old real quick, could easily see this being bumped down in the near future. I mean, it sounds pretty and all but it just gets really boring real quick

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2011


15743 Comments


sounds like late night cinema to me

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
June 2nd 2011


7026 Comments


interesting how everyone only cared about this band when tyler and nick were hyping them

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2011


15743 Comments


2008 was the year when like everyone tried really hard to find an album to hype

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 2nd 2011


3771 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I sorta quite liked this at first, but I realized I've hardly listened to it since it's release. And if I'm going to listen to anything by these guys, it's LNC, which still wows me.

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2011


31357 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

interesting how everyone only cared about this band when tyler and nick were hyping them


Yes because I wasn't listening to these guys before I joined Sputnik....

captaincrunch11
June 3rd 2011


1228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sleeping children are still flying is great.

Deathcar
June 3rd 2011


1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Was a 4 at first, but has been slowly dropping, LNC is an amazing album, but this doesn't really come close to it.

Eskate87
June 3rd 2011


959 Comments


good review. probably a 3-3.5 for me after a couple more listens. something is just missing on this album.

Cognautic
June 3rd 2011


17 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There were several parallels between this album and LNC...I mean, check the bass in the first track and the very layered ending, and the main melody sounds sonically like the one in 'A Private Death.' And I'm going to COMPLETELY disagree with you saying that they sound like Nujabes...I didn't draw that similarity whatsoever. I can see the very repetitive on repeated listening thing, however, but it hasn't hit me yet.

qwe3
June 7th 2011


21362 Comments


this was alright not that great

natey
September 14th 2011


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is boring when i want to draw comparisons between it and others and be a parasite lol

but if i give it all the attention i've got (am stoned as fuck) and want to take off well it's sweet

cvlts
September 26th 2011


8967 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

find this more and more appeasing

BallsToTheWall
October 1st 2011


44617 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Sleeping Chlldren Are Still Flying is basically the best song of 2011.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

qwe3
November 30th 2011


21362 Comments


gold in gold out is so good

Gyromania
January 2nd 2012


15941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is incredible, there are so many nuances that I'm picking out after multiple plays.

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Gyromania
January 25th 2012


15941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Our Hearts Of Ruin" is pretty much just as good as "Sleeping Chlldren Are Still Flying" imo.



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