Washed Out
Within and Without


3.0
good

Review

by Adri/Reverse Perpendiculars USER (20 Reviews)
August 3rd, 2011 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A soothing mesh of dream and synthpop, consisting of a singer, his computer and a deeply instilled 80's pop inspiration.

Call it a musical fashion or another progeny of the synthesizer, Chillwave (also known as “Glo-Fi”) is a controversial genre creeping in-between and around the pop, indie and electronic scenes with increased Internet hype. Described as “electro-pop from the 1980s…recession-era music [that’s] low-budget and danceable" by New York Times' Jon Pareles, its controversy stems to the fact that it didn't exist, yet. Ernest Greene is more or less one of the first to take the soothing atmospheres similar to dream pop contemporaries Beach House and Toro y Moi, and taking them even further into the dream-like EP Life of Leisure, and now the bedroom intimacy of his LP release, Within and Without.

On the surface it's a modern mesh of synth-pop consisting of a singer and his trusty computer, filled with ambiance and experimental trance-like beats inspired by various aspects of eighties music. Altogether it sounds a lot like music that is perfect to enjoy while awake or dozing off. The first two tracks “Eyes Be Closed" and “Echoes" are slightly darker pieces of slow rave beats, and the moody ear-candy to "Far Away" that has Greene's decorous vocals. The important is the improvement in production in comparison to the cassette-sound of his EP's High Times and Life of Leisure. Nothing here is difficult to grasp, every track is simple and laid out for any listener within the first 30 seconds, and it has little in common with the party-esque groove on his EP's. “You and I” and “A Dedication" are two of the stronger tracks of his early career, with the formers vocals from guest singer Caroline Polachek.

Greene's voice doesn't carry his music like it did before, and tend to rely on the underlying melodies to keep things to a minimum. Things here fit the sincere chord of the earlier "New Theory," but sometimes it's easy to forget there are any vocals at all here. Most songs here structured around a piano theme or a synthesized vibe in the first 30 seconds, each track closing in at nearly 5 minutes leaves a lot of repetition, which is great for anyone looking to actually fall asleep. It definately works for listeners on different levels, because this is a unique new change for Washed Out, but Greene's voice doesn't stand out like before. Having the same short melody repeated an extra minute and a half on each song isn't inspirational, it just makes things drag on. It's easy to tell it wasn't an aimed album in the first place, but thankfully it is inspirational enough to continue from while the genre is still in its blossoming stages. Regardless, Within and Without could, and likely *will* become one of the more memorable releases from the genre.



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user ratings (288)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Conrad Tao EMERITUS (2.5)
Ernest Greene presents Within and Without, a new fragrance from Washed Out, a pleasant aroma that re...

LudditeStereo (3.5)
Toes the fine line between pleasant summer buzz and music that you’d waterski to....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Parallels
August 3rd 2011


8636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks to Deviant

Digging: Sophie - Product

bloc
August 3rd 2011


36509 Comments


Album's pretty good

conradtao
Emeritus
August 3rd 2011


2090 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Oh, hey, this review got so much better! Pos. Still don't like this album, although the tracks are very shuffle-friendly.

cvlts
August 3rd 2011


9294 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like this album but it's a little bland. good stuff, brah

WashboardSuds
August 3rd 2011


5084 Comments


I liked Life of Leisure but I've been skeptical about getting this

Parallels
August 3rd 2011


8636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks guys

Jethro42
August 3rd 2011


13968 Comments


You are a very good writer, sir.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 4th 2011


32190 Comments


O hai!

Jacquelyn
August 6th 2011


33 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. You seem to have a better perspective on it.

foxblood
August 8th 2011


6818 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review. i don't like how over-produced this album is, but it's good. this didn't captivate me the way life of leisure did, maybe because the genre style is not as fresh as it was when that came out. i don't think this has enough substance to it to be more than a 3/5 record really

gilmoregirls
August 8th 2011


190 Comments


sounds like remixes of coldplay songs

gilmoregirls
August 8th 2011


190 Comments


before is the only good track

album version of you and i is awful

Parallels
August 9th 2011


8636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

before is... good



you and I has some wonderful female vocals

psykonaut
August 9th 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nah before is the best

Parallels
August 9th 2011


8636 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I feel like this is one of those albums that is difficult to weigh tracks against each other.



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