Youth Lagoon
Wondrous Bughouse


3.5
great

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (53 Reviews)
February 27th, 2013 | 45 replies


Release Date: 03/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Like snuggling into the mind of a jovial lunatic.

The debut album of Youth Lagoon (aka Trevor Powers) was one which covered a surprisingly ambitious amount of ground, especially considering the juvenescence of the artist who produced it. The Year of Hibernation was ambient, atmospheric and experimental, and it showed Powers to be fiercely purposeful as well as a perfectionist. The guitar and piano which often underpinned his songs such as “Seventeen” demonstrated his eye for detail, as layer upon layer of intricacies comprised each song and were easy to miss if not for equally adept attention from the listener. His vocal delivery was delicate and ethereal if not effeminate, and it haunted the melodies as if from the past rather than coexisting with the songs in the present. What’s more, the progressive passages which were commonplace showcased his experimental side, as they spiralled unpredictably at every turn, and were as likely to begin a song as they were to see one out.

What’s immediately clear from his second album Wondrous Bughouse, is that Powers spends as much time gathering the inspiration for his music as he does meticulously layering it. Steering well clear of typical and clichéd topics such as relationships and breakups, Powers delves into the human psyche and examines its fragility as well as the broader topic of “where the spiritual meets the physical world.” Its influence is noticeable from the off, as the creepy, disjointed sounds which reverberate on instrumental opener “Through Mind and Back” cause a well crafted, nagging unease. “The Bath” builds upon the tension and feels like a voyage into a mind more tormented than our own, whilst “Raspberry Cane” muses: “This dimension and the next/the living and the dead/everybody cares,” in a thought provoking display which encompasses humanity’s uncertainty of its own importance and sanity. This lyrical and thematic exploration into the human mind pervades the album throughout, and charms and appeals far more than any tale of heartbreak ever could.

But it’s not only the lyrics which have improved. Where he was content to be overruled by the music and drift in the background on The Year of Hibernation, Wondrous Bughouse sees him adopt a more commanding position. Never brash or forceful, Powers instead takes a small step forward, and in the process becomes the very picture of self-assurance that wasn't always evident on his debut. His more pronounced, confident delivery shines and provides many highlights, and whether it’s on the Animal Collective inspired “Attic Doctor” or the grandiose “Pelican Man,” the songs benefit from his greater sense of purpose. The progressive passages which featured heavily on his début are maintained and built upon further on Wondrous Bughouse, epitomised by the expertly balanced “Mute.” An upbeat, infectious melody is married with a fleshed out instrumental section and a simply brilliant chorus in perhaps the album’s greatest showing of how far Powers has come since his debut. Elsewhere, the psychedelic “Pelican Man” features a piano and drum combination which accentuates all that surrounds it, whilst “Dropla” succeeds in balancing beauty with intimidation through an eerie groove and the foreboding repetition of the words “you’ll never die”.

Wondrous Bughouse takes everything that made The Year of Hibernation so enthralling and builds upon it confidently. Featuring a bulked up track listing and an extending running time, in addition to a more assured vocal performance and a captivating theme, Wondrous Bughouse sees Trevor Powers emerge a solo artist who is rapidly completing the transition from promising to accomplished.



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3.4
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Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally posted at: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

And streaming here: http://prettymuchamazing.com/news/album-stream-youth-lagoon-wondrous-bughouse

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2013


10281 Comments


whoa, streaming already? Sweet work, I'm going to have to check this one out.

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers Jacob. Its been streaming a few days. Early AOTY contender for me.

benkim
February 27th 2013


2143 Comments


My most anticipated record of the year. I am going to pick this up soonest!

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Do it man I hope it lives up!

Gyromania
February 27th 2013


15941 Comments


haha awesome summary and excellent review.

i guess i should check this out

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

derho
February 27th 2013


307 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review man. this album is so good so far. Gonna give it a few more listens but.. yeah definitely a possible AOTY

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers guys. Let me know what you think Matt.

Favourite track so far derho?

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


6487 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really underwhelmed by this, tbh.

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

OneMoreRoland
February 27th 2013


1051 Comments


Lovedddd the debut and the single he released a few weeks back. stoked to listen to this

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Then I reckon you're gonna enjoy this one, Roland.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

liking this a lot so far. more playful and bouncy (or something) than the last one, but they've still retained that signature hazy atmosphere. great stuff.

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

IrrationalAnimal
February 27th 2013


77 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

fantastic album though less immediate for me than tyoh. but boy is it a grower. and the singles are obviously top-notch

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2013


15050 Comments


dropla should be at the end of a movie

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"fantastic album though less immediate for me than tyoh. but boy is it a grower. "

I'm getting this feeling too. I still like the first one more, but probably not for long...

theshelfmaster
February 27th 2013


221 Comments


This is cool. I'm really into the YOH and this is very different but me gusta

Piglet
February 28th 2013


4659 Comments


i can't wait to listen to this

Sleaper
February 28th 2013


3404 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I find this is trying to be waay too glitchy and psych.
Almost a pain to listen to.

its not bad... but definitely not good.

Digging: Vince Staples - Hell Can Wait

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 28th 2013


10281 Comments


Not BADBADNOTGOOD?

Sleaper
March 1st 2013


3404 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

definitely NOTGOOD.



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