Poor Moon
Illusion


2.5
average

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
March 30th, 2012 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The bassist and keyboardist from Fleet Foxes join forces to form Poor Moon, releasing a debut EP that is as full of holes as it is promise.

Even though it is far from a rule, it seems like the norm amongst members of established bands to only form side projects when their material won't fit under the personality of their current group. That’s why we see such a wide range of responses to these kinds of departures – sometimes a wildly differing sound pays dividends, and other times it does not. But what happens when a side project creates music eerily similar to the group from which they stemmed? Sure, it could pay off big time…just look at The Dear Hunter, who began as a side project of The Receiving End of Sirens. Other times, it just comes across as kind of stagnant. Unfortunately, the latter seems to apply to Poor Moon’s debut EP more than the prior does.

Don’t get me wrong, Illusion is a decent release, but it doesn’t differentiate itself from anything Fleet Foxes would have written. If anything, it is just more of the same but with a slight decline in the songwriting and the quality of the vocals (Christian Wargo is good, but he’s no Robin Pecknold). The first song is the strongest one on the EP, presenting carefully plucked acoustic guitars mixed in with echoing vocals that almost allow you to enter a trance-like phase. The lyrics are also quite captivating, drawing the listener in with gems like, “We've only got to make our own minds believe we're living in the kind of world we want to see” and “If you find yourself with trouble, it can still remind you of the next time.” Overtop of a stunningly elegant atmosphere, every word rings out with an unparalleled sense of profundity. However, the EP is never able to match the quality of its opening track.

The remaining four tracks, while all possessing intermittent moments of inspiration, primarily float in one ear and out the other like lost spirits trying to find their way home. ‘Anyplace’ and ‘Once Before’ are lacking any kind of hook, and there is not enough going on instrumentally or lyrically to make them memorable, much less captivating in the way that ‘Illusion’ was. ‘People in Her Mind’ is an upbeat enough track, with a playful guitar riff that works with crashing cymbals to create a bouncing rhythm – but even that song suffers from a lack of soul. It’s almost as if Poor Moon composed it as a safety net in case their other more artistic ventures fell through. The closing ‘Widow’ features a rather intricate acoustic interlude, and vocal chants ever-reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, serving as an effective farewell although it is (once again) nothing memorable. Due to the EP’s general shortage of memorable material – and the lack of distinction between Poor Moon and similar folk contemporaries – Illusion may be an album best listened to in and for the moment.

As a whole, Poor Moon seems like a group that is worth keeping a half an eye on…but no more than that. The potential and raw talent is there, but the songwriting simply feels tepid and unoriginal. If they can harness the magical folk qualities of their original band (Fleet Foxes) and fuse it with styles outside of the genre, or maybe even just expand upon those qualities, we could be in for a real treat. But as for now, Illusions is nothing more than an average EP by an average side project.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2012


15987 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/spinner#/8

Digging: Sharon Van Etten - Are We There

LifeAsAChipmunk
March 29th 2012


4854 Comments


That would have been the better summary. Sorry Sowing. Pos if you weren't staff. :D

TooLateToGoBack
March 29th 2012


1764 Comments


why the hell did I read the title as "Poor Mom"?

what the fuck.

Digging: Pianos Become the Teeth - Keep You

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
March 30th 2012


6448 Comments


Good review. I still have to listen to the last Fleet Foxes, so this doesn't really interest me unfortunately.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2012


15987 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The title track is worth a download the rest is pretty meh

Steoandnoodles
March 30th 2012


2832 Comments


Sounds an awful lot like Fleet Foxes first EP.
Any way, it's not Robin Pecknold so I'm already sceptical. Going to listen to it now. I did enjoy
'People in Her Mind' as a throw back track though.

Tyrael
March 30th 2012


20876 Comments


Woah, you're on a roll

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2012


15987 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If I have time I might even get a third review out this week ; )

Tyrael
March 30th 2012


20876 Comments


Sowingforadmin2012

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2012


15987 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

haha I remember when it was:

Sowingforcontrib2010

Sowingforstaff2011

The world will probably end before I become admin though. And somehow I don't think they'd want me I'd just make Irving staff and feature every pop-punk and female pop album ever ; )

Tyrael
March 30th 2012


20876 Comments


If we get enough users to back you up it shouldn't be a problem :]

I'll be your campaign manager!

Sowing for admin in 2012... Vote for him because admit it, you all want Chan gone.

Hooray!

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2012


15987 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haha. But there's nothing cool about my name. No chan bans or jom bombs.

Tyrael
March 30th 2012


20876 Comments


Hmm

maybe we could do something with Steve - bereave...

pornogratherapy
March 31st 2012


100 Comments


The cover says it's pretty interesting, your review says stay away.

Ire
April 1st 2012


41779 Comments


sowingfordemotion2012

good review tho

Steoandnoodles
April 20th 2012


2832 Comments


It's really boring, isn't it? =/


Steoandnoodles
September 23rd 2012


2832 Comments


So, the album came out... Sort of the same as this. It's a good throwback album but it really doesn't have much of an identity of its own. They only thing I really loved about it was the vocals, production and the mixing.

It has a lovely sound but it's like a really nice smelling cloud that is sort of forgettably pleasing in my opinion.



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