The Speed of Sound in Seawater
Blue Version


2.0
poor

Review

by Funeral USER (33 Reviews)
March 27th, 2012 | 30 replies | 3,571 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: And I always thought Blue and Red version were the same game.

5 of 6 thought this review was well written

Matching isn’t always just about the colours. Green and red may look dashing with one another but are often inappropriate, this comparison can be drawn to the aesthetic following The Speed of Sound In Seawater’s debut EP. Combining indie pop, and math rock Blue Version isn’t a venture willing to dabble in light hearted, cutesy synths and mellow out in twinkly acoustics, much the opposite of pop: Blue Version is hard hitting and abrasive. Abrasiveness can be a welcomed feature on many occasions: leave the easy listening to the softies they say. When delving into more complex and harsher structures the little details and transitions become much more important. Blue Version has no shame in showing its colours but all the way down they are just blue.

Noodly guitar lines are in abundance on this album found stretching from beginning to end on this album without letting up. With all of this movement upon peaks and valleys it can be expected to be a real rollercoaster ride but in this aspect Blue Version doesn’t deliver. Instead of freefalls and precipices it comes off more as 10 degree slopes and handicap ramps. The lines are often winding and moving consistently however they never seem to move out a solidified comfort zone. Rather the lines tend to work almost as in little jerking movements providing a twangy pace that slows and quickens in speed. There is however some experimentation that breaks out of the mould where unexpected hits and stutters excuse themselves from the continuum only to return once again to the standard notions. There is also some notable experimentation with the emo genre that often falls under the duty of the rhythm guitar such as on ‘Yay Flowers’ that sounds often better than the lead. The loudest in the lot is always the lead guitar. This decision in the mixing doesn't suit the album well when you have leads that lack in diversity and have nothing more to offer than noodly drive.

The vocals are sugary sweet thankfully not to due to over production but rather a natural whine Damian utters. It matches the music notes fluctuating precisely but always feels contrived as if it is the vocal notes are bending and rising without any real genuine reason besides for the sheer fact to match the instrumentation. Rather than focusing on the performance and emotion of the vocals as should be with an album of this genre, the delivery seems more of an afterthought added onto the mix to just compliment the guitar lines. Often during periods including vocals the instrumentation has a tendency to come across as if a car attempting to stop on a slippery road: zooming behind the vocals making the vocals seems as if they are always winding downwards in the mix, fading out. This combination in conjunction makes the sugary sweet vocals seem as they are trying to utter out as fast as possible which results in a grating whining that feels simply out of place.

Although the songs always feel as if they are trying to reach a destination the promise never becomes fore filled. Each song sounds the same as the last and has a tendency to blend into each other. The real downfall of this album is that it has the occasional complex guitar line but stays too comfortable, the noodly lines give an illusion of fast paced experimentation. In all reality however there is little going on to redeem Blue Version from appearing as an album full of scattered ideas.



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user ratings (67)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



10504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This was really disappointing and I thought I'd try writing a negative review.

It can be streamed here: http://thespeedofsoundinseawater.bandcamp.com/album/blue-version

* Do note that after this The Speed Of Sound In Seawater released Red Version which is an exceptional EP (4.5/5) I would highly recommend checking out.

Can be streamed: http://thespeedofsoundinseawater.bandcamp.com/album/red-version

Digging: Has-Lo - In Case I Don't Make It

chambered69
March 27th 2012



1253 Comments


i agree with this review, i do like red version tho

ThroneOfAgony
March 27th 2012



3485 Comments


awesome

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



10504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yea Red Version is possibly one of my favourite albums.

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



10504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Pretty good, been in a reviewing mood as of late on the prowl for more stuff to review.

Spare
March 27th 2012



5223 Comments


i vehemently disagree

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



10504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Feel free to write a counter review.

Spare
March 27th 2012



5223 Comments


let's not go overboard.

this and red version are probably two of my most listened to eps, i'm pretty certain of my opinion on them (being that they're more or less not wildly different in terms of quality and to some extent, aesthetics) but as i did with that reuben record, i'm gonna listen critically to both of these soon to try and decypher your points. otherwise i totally don't get you

also i did enjoy the reuben album more today than i did previously and that's partially why your opinion isn't being disregarded, also partially because this is a pretty fuckin well written review

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 27th 2012



17119 Comments


i enjoy this album and theyre great dudes

im biased

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

Spare
March 27th 2012



5223 Comments


listened just now to both of these in order, kind of see the basis of your points but still disagree with them. red version's main difference was expansion arrangement-wise while dialling back the noodly technicality and abrasiveness which i suppose is your main reasoning for liking it so much more, though i still feel the quality of the composition never really took a huge leap forward, just in a different kinda happy direction. the sound expanded sideways rather than outwards. behind the arrangement the songs essentially share core similarities in terms of melody and structure; i can't help but feel like you're grading an aesthetic rather than the actual songs. the transition problems you addressed here never really left in red version. i dunno i just don't think such a significantly different grade is warranted. i'd rate them both a strong 4.5, with red version being maybe a little more realised as a whole and the arrangements really work well so maybe critically speaking it'd rate higher although blue has always been my slight preference personally. whatever though if you really dislike this so much that's fine i'm just struggling to see why

additionally, the scariest room in the house is probably my favourite tsosis song. that shitty pitch shifter effect is the coolest thing ever. i really do love the songs on this ep a lot.

Spare
March 27th 2012



5223 Comments


that was too much wasn't it

point is, it's rad and you're weird

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



10504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Red Version has a huge amount of diversity and moves out of its comfort zone and into interesting territory while still remaining cohesive. No two songs sound alike on Red Version while this is very stagnant.

Spare
March 27th 2012



5223 Comments


but what i'm saying is they're essentially pretty similar songs throughout red and blue, bare-bones style, regardless of their aesthetic

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



10504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I really don't see how Blue and Red are really similar at all, they sound nothing alike.

Yazz_Flute
March 27th 2012



18736 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's interesting to me that you enjoy Red, but not this one.

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

Spare
March 27th 2012



5223 Comments


they sound plenty alike compositionally

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



10504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Red version is also the furthest thing from being bare-bones it has features such as a jubilee of horns, xylophone, a much tighter focus on emo, a lot more focused, more diversity in the riffs, more focus on the vocals than the guitar and very clear production.

Spare
March 27th 2012



5223 Comments


Red version is also the furthest thing from being bare-bones it has features such as a jubilee of horns, xylophone, a much tighter focus on emo, a lot more focused, more diversity in the riffs, more focus on the vocals than the guitar and very clear production.
you're misreading, i mean that when you strip all the horns, xylophones, arrangement type deals, you're dealing with very similar songs throughout both albums

TheSpirit
March 27th 2012



16662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wut

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

Funeralopolis
March 27th 2012



10504 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yea I don't get it either



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