Review Summary: The best lifeless record you may ever hear
120 Days doesn’t have a very complex sound. It’s essentially smooth, icy, dark disco. And there’s nothing very innovative on 120 Days II- most everything on this album, I’d heard before, and my background with classic electronic albums is spotty at best. However, 120 Days II has a saving grace: they’re masters of the build up, the break down, the smooth and the rough, and most importantly, the driving, monotonic base of each song and its soaring chorus. Basically, they’ve mastered each end of the spectrum, and 120 Days II does an excellent job of jumping interestingly from end to end. Just take the smooth female choir versus the rough snarl of lead singer Jonas Dahl on Lucid Dreams II or the sudden entrance of the industrial snares on Lucid Dreams III among a field of smooth driving bass. The ebb and flow of airy yet crunchy guitars throughout epic Dahle Disco. And as an ‘electronic band’ so to speak, everything here is well mixed and well produced in general.
There are many moments that 120 Days soars on this record. However, there’s a huge distance between the listener and the music because there’s simply not much human in this music. The vocals are sometimes intense but never cease sounding robotic or metallic, and everything else is basically the result of varied musical robots. The result? A lot of catchy choruses that you remember in perfect detail upon hearing them a second time, but would never catch yourself signing in the middle of a random activity. Of course, a lot of electronic music is that way- but here, the fantastic choruses, which make up the highlighted moments of the album, are extremely limited because of it.
Still, 120 Days II is a very dynamic, interesting record that’s focused, consistent, and a very pleasing listen overall. It’s very strong, and it’s clear that 120 Days know what they’re doing, but it’s also clear that they need to move to something greater if they want to make a truly great record.