Pendulum
Immersion


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyrannic USER (9 Reviews)
January 5th, 2012 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Screw thinking, I'll be out dancing.

It is often said that formulaic music is the death of creativity. Never really defended with evidence, these words often fly from the mouths of those who hate Dragonforce. Yet, there is something seriously wrong with this sentiment, and Pendulum’s Immersion is a perfect example of why they can be successful within a certain framework. Pendulum are a drum and bass/rock band from Australia. They have a specific blueprint with which they create their music, at least for this album. This consists of a slowly building introduction, catchy opening melody, an even quieter build, and finally an explosion of synth and bass tones. Every sound is meticulously produced, as the searing tones fly high over the rumbling of the kick-drum/bass line. The song, then, will transition, maybe switch time, and end on a tone that allows for easy transition into the next. While it would be difficult to argue that this pattern carries every single song, it would be much easier to state that this formula is a dominant theme throughout the work.

At this point, the purists would have their opportunity to jump in. With accusations of monotony, as soon as the recipe is identified the work is disregarded. At the same time, however, Pendulum have an ace up their collective sleeve. This album is catchy to the point of ridiculousness. Every melody soars, every bass throbs, and every chance for an anthemic chorus is taken. Almost to the point of cheese, the lead synth lines jump out and demand attention, while at the same time either a simple 4/4 house or jazzy drum and bass beat keeps the listener distracted with cascading low-mid tones. Pendulum are known for their live shows, and with this evidence it should be easy to see why.

The album is what it is: fun, predictable dance music. At some point, the choice must be made whether musical equations add or detract from the work’s reception. All music relies on some kind of formula; yes, even Yes. Even if the outward product is new and innovative, at its very core music is composed using micro-patterns. Chords are simply two patterned notes played for a certain effect. Certain passages evoke certain emotions, and are designed to do just that. While some bands abuse this foundation, all bands rely on it for structure and sensibility. A formula is what we use to package our music into neat little boxes; through this, music is sorted, identified, categorized, and ultimately divided.

Which box will Pendulum find themselves in? A few, actually. While the d&b and rock boxes are easy choices, multiple influences project themselves on this work. Their recent work with their dubstep side-project Knife Party got an early showcase in the middle section of Salt In the Wounds, with a slowed 2-step tempo switch for just enough time to be interesting. Crush clearly has some sort of ties to punk, with the steady riff galloping under Rob Swire’s vocals. Songs with both melodeath legends In Flames and prog-mastermind Steven Wilson display their own respective influences, and convey mixed results. Self vs. Self, the track featuring In Flames, functions on at least a vague level because it keeps with the hard rock formula, even if it really is just an In Flames song featuring Swire. The Fountain, on the other hand, is almost a pop song and sticks out like a frail thumb. With so many to choose from, its a wonder how they limited themselves to their blueprint while poking new territory at the same time. With this formula and list of influences in hand, Pendulum seems to have struck commercial gold. While they count their gold coins, I’ll be out dancing.



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user ratings (581)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • fish CONTRIBUTOR (4)
    Accessible, glossy and energetic drum 'n' bass with a little more to offer when explored f...

    Michael B. (4)
    Drum and bass collides with stadium rock. An excellent album emerges....

    grayman (2.5)
    Has Pendulum's "Immersion" changed the landscape of electronic music forever?...

    Deviant STAFF (3)
    Immersion - Pendulum's attempts at bridging the gap...

  • Peter K. Mark (3.5)
    Bombastic, vivid and aggressive, Immersion vows to shout loud enough to be heard by everyo...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyrannic
January 5th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Branching out a little more in my music, constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated.

Restrikted
January 5th 2012


1889 Comments


The entire first paragraph reads very awkwardly and is a maze getting through, I suggest cleaning it up it a little bit

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
January 5th 2012


22014 Comments


odd how my review argues there's lots of creativity and yours is the opposite :s

Digging: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Pinata

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2012


28659 Comments


i like the in flames disco song

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Tyrannic
January 5th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

restrikted: do you have anything specific to change, or is it just the whole thing? i wasn't too sure of it myself and didn't really hit a roll until the second.

Tyrannic
January 5th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

alright, i think i fixed it. thoughts?

linkjerk
January 5th 2012


311 Comments


well tyrannic, according to Restrikted, the only reason he said the awful things he said was bcuz he just doesnt like u. i have him sitting right next to me, and hes telling me not post this comment. but guess what, im gonna do it anyway. WATCH ME!

linkjerk
January 5th 2012


311 Comments


btw, as for the first parapgraph, i like it.

Tyrannic
January 5th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so, are you two like, married or something?

also, @fish, yeah. i thought your review was good, i just didn't really agree. i feel like we both have our thoughts pretty well fleshed out.

Acanthus
January 5th 2012


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Liked the summary, sometime I'll listen to this.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

Restrikted
January 5th 2012


1889 Comments


Yeah you cleaned it up, nice job

pos'd

Tyrannic
January 5th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

does this mean we're friiiiiiiiends now:D?

bloc
January 5th 2012


34925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album's got some goodies


Did I say that already?

Tyrael
January 5th 2012


20901 Comments


The Island Part II is like the best thing ever

bloc
January 5th 2012


34925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I didn't like that one too much. I thought Part 1 was way better.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2012


31373 Comments


while at the same time a simple 4/4 house beat


Yeah, but this isn't the case outside, say half of the album

Otherwise nice review

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

Tyrannic
January 5th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, dev. I didn't know much about the specifics of the 4/4 but I could change it.

Tyrannic
January 6th 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

final edits, come on guys i give you so much douchebaggery. i know this isn't perfect.

PropaneNightmares
January 13th 2012


115 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i'm too gay for this album

Tyrannic
February 3rd 2012


3262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well at least you liked the album



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