Phaeleh
Tides


3.5
great

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
July 9th, 2013 | 27 replies | 3,181 views


Release Date: 08/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Refining his sound, but nothing too risky...

Confession time: I was thoroughly prepared to write off Phaeleh's Tides as a case of "more of the same" after hearing the beginning few tracks for the first time. Tides' trademark brand of warm, enveloping dubstep stuck out as exactly what Phaeleh had done so masterfully on Fallen Light, and opener "Journey," with its Hollywood strings, garage-tinged cymbals and subtle ebb and flow, seemed no different than much of the producer's earlier material. Of course, pigeonholing the album into the category of "NO INVENTION HURR DURR" is unfair. After all, who really cares that "Here Comes the Sun" follows closely in the footsteps of "Afterglow?" Sure, both songs feature Soundmouse wailing about wordlessly and beautifully. Sure, there's a suspiciously similar clap/snare in both. And sure, in both cases the bass comes in after a particularly spare moment, perfectly timed. At the same time, though, "Afterglow" is my go-to song when I want to demonstrate to friends that dubstep isn't all womps and bangs. What's more, "Here Comes the Sun," rather than coming off as a shameless ripoff, sits as more of a revamped and reimagined version of an excellent example of Phaeleh's sound.

That being said, though, Tides is exceedingly safe. Though "more of the same" is too simplistic a view, Phaeleh retreads a lot of ground here, as is evident with strings, stormy vocals, and shimmering synths all over the place. There's more variety here in terms of genres than some of his previous work: the trip-hop of "Tokoi," the footwork of "Never Fade Away," the beat-less "more-than-an-interlude" mentality of "A Different Time." However, there's that same thread of Phaeleh's signature sound running through everything, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing it does serve to make things sound just a bit same-y. If he were doing something crazy like totally reinventing his take on garage, the whole thing would be a lot better. However, given Tides is only a minor reworking of his previous sound, everything ends up falling a little flat.

That's not to say the album isn't good. Phaeleh is a master of his craft, and the sparse, snowy sonic backdrops he creates are nothing short of breathtaking. "Whistling in the Dark" is particularly impressive, with beautiful harmonics and shallow kicks complementing Augustus Ghost's sultry harmonies. "A Different Time" follows much the same path, as its clean electric guitar and disembodied vocals set the stage well for an uncharacteristically menacing bassline to fit right in with the rest of the piece. However, it's a tiny bit disappointing Tides wasn't more. Gorgeous, wandering synths abound, but there's still that nagging feeling that the album could have been a masterpiece with a pinch more experimentation and pushing boundaries. Phaeleh already knows what it's like to shift what's accepted in dubstep, after all - just look at Fallen Light. It's wishful thinking at this point, of course, but if only Tides just took that extra step past "logical progression" towards "innovative" - if only, if only...



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
fish CONTRIBUTOR (4)
There’s something missing from Phaeleh’s dubstep....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2013



3008 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Originally posted at www.muzikdizcovery.com, album's streaming on Spotify.

Whistling in the Dark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAWJvVJoVmg

A bit underwhelmed, but the album's still very good. Check it out, worth your time if this is your kind of stuff at all

Digging: Todd Terje - It's Album Time

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2013



9476 Comments


Hell yes. One of your best reviews to date, man.

I particularly notice that your vocabulary is becoming more and more colorful with each review, and I love it.

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

Inveigh
July 8th 2013



24190 Comments


I love Fallen Light, I need to check out his other stuff. very solid review

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2013



23643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

still gotta jam. it's on my ipod but I mean....

run the jewels exists

so.....

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2013



6734 Comments


Kinda digging the vibe of the artwork. Great review Will, I pale at your might!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2013



30297 Comments


Tides's trademark brand


*Tides'

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2013



3008 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the positive feedback, guys. And thanks for the catch Dev

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2013



6248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shame that the quality drops a little bit towards the back-end, otherwise this would've been an easy 4.5.

Edit: Black Sands should be a better rec than Untrue imo.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Rev
July 9th 2013



9292 Comments


I'm gonna throw this on while I finalize my schedule for next semester because this has just been sitting in my library for like a week

Tyrannic
July 9th 2013



3224 Comments


its not like i'm arguing here but i don't understand how its "not not good" in one string of words and then breathtaking in the next few? its more of like a 3.9 for me but like...

what

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2013



3008 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess my thought is that Phaeleh's sounds and atmospheres are beautiful but that alone doesn't make a great album. True, most of the 3.5 points I give it come from the fact that it's so nice, and if this were your average post-'06 step producer doing the same thing again this would probably be about a 2.5. It's just not enough alone to push an album from very good to excellent, you know?

Tyrannic
July 9th 2013



3224 Comments


true. i enjoyed the review. also enjoying this though, hah

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2013



9476 Comments


The two are simply incompatible-- if you like the album, you'll fuckin' hate this review, man

Tyrannic
July 9th 2013



3224 Comments


i asked for a milkshake

bitch gives me a smoothie

i slap the bitch and say BITCH

GIMME MY MOTHERFUCKIN MILKSHAKE

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2013



23643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

uhhhhh first song fucking rules holy shit

it realllllllly fucking rules

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2013



23643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh man I want to hump this album

FourthReich
July 17th 2013



15303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

same, i mean i'd rather hump the girl that showed me this album, but yeah either way i wanna hump something

oltnabrick
July 17th 2013



29282 Comments


dam str8


Digging: Future - Honest

EaglesBecomeVultures
July 18th 2013



5051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is sexxxxyyy holy shit

Digging: Future - Honest

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
July 21st 2013



6920 Comments


*Tides'


This is probably the most confusing place when using an apostrophe - when the title of something ends in a plural. Because to me, when referring to the album Tides, you're referring to the singular album, which would make me think that even though there's a plural in the title, the singular possessive form should be used. Even more-so when it's not just one word, for example Twin Peaks.

To be clear, I think the correction of Tides' is grammatically correct (or at least, that's what I've been told), but I struggle to accept that.

I'd say something cool about the album instead of just apostrophes but I still need to listen to it, which I shall do shortly.



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