Review Summary: An emotional album that is very weak in production and rhythm, but has good/great composition and melodies and is fairly enjoyable.4 of 5 thought this review was well written
There are many ways to describe the kinds of music presented on this album. Songs such as Conflicted
have this overwhelming gothic vibe to them and other songs such as Loss
have a neo-classical and operatic feel. The album, though, can be described as emotional electronic music, which I have a feeling is where The Hedgehog Dilemma
got most of his ambition to make the record from. The emotion on this record is overwhelming with almost every song feeling depressing and gloomy. Some portions of the album could be described as post rock (barely) if the songs built up to something, but they stay in this slightly comfortable zone of melancholia. Some songs could be, vaguely, compared to Ulrich Schnauss
with its emotional electronic style.
I’ll start with the positive aspects of the album first. This album has some great compositions and melodies, especially in a song like Loss
which, like I’ve said before, has a lot of good chosen notes, structure and it has that despondent feeling to it. It’s as if I’m in the front row seat of an opera and the fat lady has walked out to sing in her soprano voice. The song Reflection
is probably my favorite track on the album mainly because it has a nostalgic feel to it and the choice of notes are very relaxing and beautiful sounding. It also reminded me a lot of the song The Inverted Man
by The Detroit Escalator Company
, which is a song I really enjoy. I try to imagine myself, like every album, floating above the clouds and look up to the sky to see the sun, but all I see is more clouds. This album is jammed pack with a lot of melancholia, great melodies and some fine composition. It makes the album an interesting listen even if you don’t necessarily enjoy it.
As I say this, the album, as a whole, is not all too good. The production on this album seems pretty rushed as if it needed to be completed in a very short amount of time. The lack of effort on mixing and editing deteriorates the album greatly as the whole album, with the exception of perhaps Reflection, sounds very cheap, midi. It seems like he didn’t even bother to add effects to the songs like equalization, compression, phaser, filter, reverb, delay etc. A lot of moments on the album remind me of Dauði Baldrs by Burzum
because of how much of it sounded like a Yamaha keyboard. The dynamics on this album are much less the same with each synth pad or drum beat sounding the same volume all the time for each and every song. There are no moments where parts are louder than another or more prominent and it would’ve improved this album greatly if it distinguished those more prominent parts. The songs, I thought, that were supposed to build up like Transcendence to something bigger and end leaving the listener wanting more ended, more or less, lazily with a drum beat that was very poorly produced, not prominent and that had no purpose in being there. Even songs that I REALLY did like, for example the song Loss, had a very midi sound to it and I wouldn’t be bothered by this if the synths had at least a few effects to try and mimic the sound of an actual orchestra. Whether or not it was intentional, as if it was supposed to sound like Nintendo 64 video game music, is irrelevant when it just doesn’t sound all that professional.
The drums are another thing on this album that ruins it greatly. They sound like they don’t belong in the songs and while they have at least a bit of production on them with some reverb, that doesn’t make it sound all that great. It takes a lot more than reverb to make good sounding electronic drum beats. The song Tears
would've been a way better song if the artist just ditched the dubstep sounding beat and added another synth pad and, like most of the album, added in some effects to liven up the sound of the album. Another thing about the percussion's is that they don’t seem as if each drum part is separate from one another. It’s as if the drums were made from a cheesy electronic drum kit and the individual sounds on the drums such as: snares, hi hats etc. weren’t mixed separately from one another. The song Conflicted
is, by far, the worst song on the album with its lazy production and poor synth sounds. The only thing that saves this song from being completely terrible is that the drum beat sounds pretty interesting with the bass drum being fairly prominent and beefy. At the end of the album with each listen I’m left scratching my head wondering what I had just listened to.
While I think it’s clear that I’m not trying to be overly harsh about this, there are obviously some things that this album needs to improve on, but I didn’t hate it. It really is an enjoyable listen and trying to get familiar with each song was quite fun and I realize that this is the first exploration of electronic music this guy has done, but a lot more time could’ve been spent to make this a better album by having better production, better rhythm/drums and less midi sounding synthesizers. There are about 2-3 good/great songs on here and then the rest are either mediocre or poor. As a whole it’s a pretty average album, but I wouldn’t want to miss what’s in store for the artist in the future.
The Hedgehog’s Dilemma is the project of sputnikmusic user auberginedreams. “The Voice in My Head Sounds A Lot like You” can be downloaded for free/streamed here: http://soundcloud.com/auberginedreams00/sets/the-voice-in-my-head-sounds-a/