Balthazar
Rats


4.0
excellent

Review

by scissorlocked USER (35 Reviews)
October 16th, 2012 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Gift of the Magi

Balthazar's applauded debut showcased a remarkable freshness of subterranean quality. Smooth, catchy and lyrical altogether, Applause endured several dangerous listens: those of the lazy Sunday evenings, the tired ones after work-time or the ones during the late reading hours. In each case it survived oblivion through an idiosyncratic mixture of agitating and almost danceable music formula.

Rats finds the Belgian group in a less quirky and more languorous disposition. It's not that the hopping and catchy basslines have been completely wiped out, neither that the seductive, passionate strummings are totally absent. But the carefree, bouyant attitude of Applause has given way to a more bohemian understanding of pop-rock songwriting. Unburdened and foundered under a dramatic persona of luck-stricken troubadours, Balthazar seem to have chosen a style of blithe and poignant storytelling for their second album. "Joker's Son" is a perfect example of their new approach, with its lazy horns and its earnest statements : "A joker's son/ my coat's somewhere around town/ I never won but I rest assure that I can endure/ The spinning". Slow paced and relaxed, Rats delivers a feeling of whimsical obtrusiveness. The consoling melodies of "Lion's Mouth", the almost haunting in their simplicity woodwind synths in "Do Not Claim Them Anymore" and the slow climax of "Any Suggestion" are among others, moments of excellence, inside a lush symphony of whistling tunes and romantic tales.

It's a sheer effortlessness that's probably the most stunning thing about Rats, a quality of being inconspicuously pleasant that undermines any technical proficiency or innovation which tries to evaluate the album. Along with some restlessness, Balthazar may have sacrificed any surprises, shivers and thrills that a contingent development of Applause's sound could hold. But maybe that's for the better, as Rats already seems to has found some joy in small things, rather than striving for the excellence in the big ones. And it goes without saying that the Sunday evenings and the late reading hours have been painted anew.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Olivier De Clercq CONTRIBUTOR (4)
...

related reviews

Applause

Comments:Add a Comment 
scissorlocked
October 16th 2012


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

streams here : http://totallyfuzzy.blogspot.gr/2012/10/balthazar-rats-album-stream.html

c'mon sputnik listen to this band!




Digging: Distance - Outer Limits

mindleviticus
October 16th 2012


8325 Comments


Applause was pretty good. Was kind of bored by it though. This looks promising from your review. I'll check it out :]

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2012


4452 Comments


Not really my thing, but the review does make a persuasive argument. Good stuff, man, have a pos.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 17th 2012


6504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome follow-up. Their style remains totally unique, but this album is a bit more loose than its predecessor.

Your first paragraph reads a bit awkward, Scissor, if I'm being honest...

Digging: Recondite - Iffy

scissorlocked
October 17th 2012


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Paragraph fixed!

anyway, I wasn't sure of it in the first place....

thanks for the feedback clercqie and Paper!



Typhoner
October 17th 2012


891 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll be checking this out, didn't really pay attention to the band but I guess it's worth a spin.

Digging: ENA - Binaural

scissorlocked
October 17th 2012


3511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

do it, it's pretty enjoyable

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2012


6504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it reads better now :]

Typhoner
October 18th 2012


891 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes, it's pretty enjoyable indeed.

Ponton
Emeritus
October 18th 2012


5815 Comments


band is so good

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2012


3485 Comments


This actually looks interesting, I might give it a shot. Nice review too, have a pos

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2012


10353 Comments


Your reviews get better and better, Scissor. Keep up the hard work!

I may hav to check this out. :3

Ponton
Emeritus
October 18th 2012


5815 Comments


Do you like the band Spoon, Omaha?

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2012


10353 Comments


I don't recall hearing anything from them I've particularly cared for, but I may be thinking of an entirely different group.

Either way, I haven't heard them much at all. Are they of similar style to this group?

Tyrael
October 18th 2012


20945 Comments


One of our better musical export products ;] (with Amenra being the best, obviously)

great review my man

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Ponton
Emeritus
October 18th 2012


5815 Comments


yeah i definitely get an overall Spoon feel, particularily with this band's debut Applause, which
everyone needs to hear.

If you haven't got into Spoon, get Kill the Moonlight, or anything they released last decade. Band is
heaven.

Sirob
October 18th 2012


2653 Comments


I USED TO BE A DEAD GUY, NOW IM A FUCKING JEDI

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2012


6269 Comments


Congrats on the feature scissor dude.

Digging: Fly Golden Eagle - Quartz Bijou

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 18th 2012


10543 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what the hell jacob has never listened to spoon? gtfo

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 18th 2012


50848 Comments


Was going to post that Sirob

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds



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