Youth Lagoon
Wondrous Bughouse


3.0
good

Review

by Super Grover USER (32 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2013 | 43 replies | 5,963 views


Release Date: 03/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bedroom pop for clowns.

I didn’t really like Trevor Powers’ (I refuse to call him Youth Lagoon in this review; that is a dumb name) first album. The Year of Hibernation was a timid affair that never really busted out of its hazy intimacy and became something genuinely decent for me-- a bunch of slow, simple cuts that I would probably thumbs-up if a buddy of mine showed them to me. On that note, I don’t think I’d really like Trevor Powers that much if I ever met him in real life. First off, he lives in Idaho. Second off, he described his follow-up Wondrous Bughouse as spawning from "becoming more fascinated with the human psyche and where the spiritual meets the physical world." So yeah, we would probably not get along very well.

But you listen to Wondrous Bughouse and realize that there’s definitely some sort of truth behind that statement. Bughouse is certainly more psychedelic then its predecessor in both music and lyrics; first and foremost the melodies jump off the page much more here than they did on Hibernation. There’s some digging to do here to find the goods, but not nearly as much. His lyrical themes have moved far from posters and bedrooms and all of a sudden he’s taking some big hacks at life and the human experience. Powers, in a sense, is crawling out of his shell.

It certainly makes for an entertaining listen, but there’s the feeling that Powers merely shifted gears from shoegazey, dream-pop worship to a handful of Animal Collective records and that’s really as “transcendental” as his change in sound really gets. There’s undoubtedly a bunch of Animal Collective-lite vibes on Wondrous Bughouse, but to Powers’ credit he hasn’t lost all of the intimacy from his first record, and what carries over to Bughouse works. The looping, circus melodies-- and by God, there are quite a few-- are not robotic, and that alone is unique.

It’s a move I wouldn’t have expected from Powers, one that I would figure to alienate a good handful of fans of Hibernation. But just like his debut, there’s plenty of substance to found on Bughouse once you dig through the muck, noise-- and yes, a solid amount of filler. It kind of makes sense, though-- The Year of Hibernation was assumedly a pretty emotional album for Powers, and it’s good to see him, in perfect Frightened Rabbit or Antlers style, move toward a more melodic, less draining style of music. It’s good for the artist, it’s sure to win over some new fans, and it puts him at an interesting sort of crossroads in terms of his expansion into a fully mature musical act. He’s not quite there yet.



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user ratings (141)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Max Freedman (4.5)
cathartic, one-man mountains of psychedelia...

derho (3.5)
...

Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Like snuggling into the mind of a jovial lunatic....

related reviews

The Year of Hibernation

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2013



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

woah disagree. I might write a counter-point.

nice writing though.

Romulus
March 2nd 2013



8411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i dig this album though. i was pleasantly surprised

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 2nd 2013



21576 Comments


I downloaded this earlier

Digging: Septicflesh - Communion

CaptainDooRight
March 2nd 2013



28353 Comments


bro I'm not even lying, Super Grover is literally my favorite Sesame Street character hands down

best character ever, please don't hate me but I didn't read yet but when I saw that name my love for you greatly increased

Digging: Tukaaria - Raw to the Rapine

IrrationalAnimal
March 2nd 2013



69 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I could be wrong but it sounds like you just don't like bedroom pop in general. And as far as meeting someone from Idaho with ambitious thoughts about their music, seems exactly the sort of unique dude I'd like to meet. Always good to take in a different viewpoint though and this is a well-written review, cheers

Romulus
March 2nd 2013



8411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"bro I'm not even lying, Super Grover is literally my favorite Sesame Street character hands down"

preach. there is no other valid choice


"I could be wrong but it sounds like you just don't like bedroom pop in general."

nah i just didn't like how he handled it on 'year of hibernation'. felt unfinished and amateurish to me as opposed to intimate but i get why people dug it.

i also have nothing against idaho i just think the dude gives off an air of taking himself way too seriously. this could be a really fun record if he allowed it to be.

chambered99
March 2nd 2013



780 Comments


good review man congrats on promotion

Sleaper
March 2nd 2013



3321 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really enjoyed this review.. cant agree anymore.
SPOT ON PAL

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

CaptainDooRight
March 2nd 2013



28353 Comments


I have preached, and shall continue; for my faith has been made firm.

Gyromania
March 2nd 2013



15200 Comments


good review. will be posting mine in a day or two, so we'll be battling for the feature!

CaptainDooRight
March 2nd 2013



28353 Comments


sorry bro if you're not Super Grover u really have no chance

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 3rd 2013



10010 Comments


This review's pretty good, but a few parts of it don't sit well with me. It feels more like you're ridiculing the artist than anything in the beginning paragraph, and I feel like your review wouldve been stronger if it hadnt possessed that sense of dismissal.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

IrrationalAnimal
March 4th 2013



69 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I can definitely see where you're coming from grover, still gonna disagree with you tho about seriousness of the album - that's kind of what youth lagoon does and it think it works for him here. album feels epic and awesome

Anthracks
March 7th 2013



3670 Comments


one of the most boring bands on earth

IHeardThat
March 7th 2013



77 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Spot on. Though I actually enjoyed his first album quite a bit, this just isn't the same Youth Lagoon. Very disappointing for me, I had such high hopes.

thricearereallybad
March 7th 2013



119 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

really bad

sportsboy
March 7th 2013



615 Comments


seems like a chill album, good review

(the count is definitely best sesame street character)

Digging: Vektroid - Color Ocean Road

ashn0ted
March 7th 2013



15 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The vocals are really annoying, to the point of distraction, but it's otherwise fairly solid.

benkim
March 7th 2013



2085 Comments


I haven't listened to this yet, but I completely disagree about The Year of Hibernation.

Digging: As Tall As Lions - As Tall As Lions

IAMERROR
March 7th 2013



219 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I'm really enjoying this. Reminds me of MGMT on some songs.



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