Submotion Orchestra
Fragments


4.5
superb

Review

by Jacob R. STAFF
October 24th, 2012 | 133 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In which elegance cozies up to sincerity.

We all adored Submotion Orchestra’s debut Finest Hour because the album brought an otherwise scarce sense of elegance into our messy lives. From one tightly knit crescendo to the next, between its relaxed dubstep temperament and the precisely coordinated jazz passages, Finest Hour wowed both electronic music veterans and newcomers to the dubstep scene. The album merged a hodgepodge of genres that previously were mere acquaintances - and it was a breath of fresh air. What was even more refreshing about Finest Hour, though, was how cohesive it all was. The album was a tangible movement in a promising direction for Submotion Orchestra, a stellar realization towards the group’s true potential.

At the end of the day, though, Finest Hour was more a solidification of similar ideas than anything. Nobody should be surprised, then, that its successor follows up with some variation. Fragments is a more confident beast, and knows its strengths well; in fact, it learns what to expand upon from its predecessor. Pick your favorite aspect of Finest Hour, and check for anything resembling it on Fragments. It’s there; don’t worry. For example, remember the instant in “All Yours,” where the trumpet bursts through the wall of sound to make an already stunning tune that much more monumental? Yeah, well, so does “Thinking,” an immediate favorite here - not to even mention how palatable the song is as a whole. There are plenty of equally rewarding moments in the album, although more subdued: “Sleepwalkers,” for instance, charms with the passion of a lonely lover, and its chorus succeeds so thoroughly because of its sorrow-laced presentation.

This is where one of the most prominent shifts in Submotion Orchestra’s music comes into play. Never before has the group’s music been so emotionally upfront. “Eyeline” embraces both experience and discovery, dueling concepts that coexist in harmony of the track. It all comes together in the final chord of the chorus, the grand chord that pulls the track together so well. Elsewhere, “Bird of Prey” provides a vitality unseen in the group thus far; the track’s up-front breed of exploratory dubstep and unique instrumentation presents us with a more revealing Submotion Orchestra. They aren’t afraid to hand the wheel over to emotion anymore, to let clear and certifiable passion drive their music. “Coming Up For Air” is the most gratifying track because of this realization, and to explain why it works so perfectly would be to ruin the surprise that wraps up the album. Experimentation runs hand-in-hand with these newfound changes, too. “Times Strange” seems to exist solely to elicit mixed reactions - Rider Shafiq’s spoken-word contribution is an unexpected addition to Submotion’s palette, sure, but it also adds to the playfulness that’s accomplished on Fragments.

It’s impressive, really, how Submotion Orchestra is able to comprise Finest Hour’s most effective moments into a more expressive finished product. In the end, Fragments’s name serves it well - the album consists of many distinct ideas placed together, but pieces that form a massive collective whole, possibly setting the bar even higher for their future.



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user ratings (104)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Cultclassical (4)
Anything but fragmented, Submotion Orchestra delivers another work of art....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2012


3455 Comments


YES NEW SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA

will check this one out soon, have a pos Jacob

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2012


10211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

Thanks man! This album's so great. Did you like Finest Hour as much as everyone else did?

truekebabpower
October 24th 2012


639 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so this is even better than finest hour? *faints*

insta pos of course

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2012


10211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

Also:

Blind Spot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQpI5X9E07s
Thinking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PctpvK9XZVc
Eyeline: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPRE6boR9Ng


Ecnalzen
October 24th 2012


6566 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just read this band's bio. Sounds like a pretty fascinating meld of genres going on here.

Also, great review. It was a very smooth read.

mindleviticus
October 24th 2012


8237 Comments


Nice review, Jacob. I haven't bothered to check this out yet.

Digging: Cultes Des Ghoules - Henbane

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2012


6457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a more direct and instantly loveable album than Finest Hour, but it doesn't get as much under my skin as the latter one. Still an amazing listen though.

Digging: Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2012


10211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

Thanks guys! I spent a lot of time on this. I've listened to the album as a whole at least five times, which is far more than for most reviews I write.

Kebab - I view both albums as just as impressive. Finest Hour is more consistent, but Fragments has more moments that really grab me.

Ecnalzen - you can check out a link or two that I posted, if you're interested in hearing them!

mindleviticus
October 24th 2012


8237 Comments


Let alone Finest Hour for that matter. ;p

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2012


10211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3 | Sound Off

It's a more direct and instantly loveable album than Finest Hour, but it doesn't gets as much under my skin as the latter one. Still an amazing listen though.

I can definitely understand this. "Thinking" has been stuck in my head for the last week, though, so the album's definitely sticking with me quite a bit!

Typhoner
October 24th 2012


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I heard some fragments of this album, but I liked what I heard.

Nice review.

Typhoner
October 24th 2012


861 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the lame pun wasn't intended btw, lol

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2012


6457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, Thinking is a definite highlight. I really like Snow and Eyeline as well.

CaptainDooRight
October 24th 2012


29431 Comments


not a big fan of the artwork, but may check this,

rev was great btw, posd

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2012


19790 Comments


Haven't heard these guys but great review. I seconded your request for a feature in the forums.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

CaptainDooRight
October 24th 2012


29431 Comments


i don't know if we should bump off those sweet red Taylor lips on the front page

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2012


19790 Comments


Lol I don't mean today, just whenever the mods take down another review but then again I requested mine be featured as well muah hahah

CaptainDooRight
October 24th 2012


29431 Comments


was jus messin bro, but yea dam those lips

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 24th 2012


19790 Comments


She's not even that hot lol

bloc
October 24th 2012


34872 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not quite as good as Finest Hour (which would be difficult to top anyway), but still fantastic.



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