Palms
Palms


2.5
average

Review

by Ryan Kroner USER (29 Reviews)
July 17th, 2013 | 46 replies


Release Date: 06/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An aesthetically pleasing effort that utterly fails to satisfy on an emotional level.

Before the bitchy part of my assessment begins, I do feel that I should give credit where credit is due and point out the most glaringly obvious strength of the self-titled debut from Isis/Deftones supergroup Palms. Whatever other weaknesses this effort may possess, it is, more than anything else, an aesthetically pleasing album. It takes the beautifully spacey production of Isis' later material and combines it with the dreamier, meticulously polished sheen of softer Deftones tracks to create some incredibly atmospheric music that can best be described as, well... Sexy. For all its flaws - and believe me, they are numerous - Palms is potentially the sexiest album of the year in terms of atmosphere and production. Chino Moreno's soaring vocals suit this vibe perfectly, and if this effort could be judged by these factors alone it would absolutely be a roaring success, surpassing all hopes and expectations set when Chino's pairing with sixty percent of Isis was first announced. It's especially nice to hear bassist Jeff Caxide again, his gorgeous lines elevating even the most mundane of passages to something greater.

However, once you get past just how damn good Palms sounds in certain aspects, you are left to scrutinize not its aesthetic value, but how well it works as a piece of music - and not only that, but a piece of music crafted by four musicians with a consistent history of creating some absolutely brilliant compositions. When one observes Palms' debut LP in that respect, it fails in a staggering way, for no matter how good an album sounds, you are always left with a few simple questions: Does it connect on an emotional level? Does it do anything new? Does it sound like the artists behind it really put their all into making it? Certainly, these three questions are not the only ways to judge a work of art, but if a band gets even one of them right then you can be sure that, in some ways, their work is a musical success. Sadly, in this reviewer's humble opinion, Palms fails on all three fronts. It may sound incredible, but it fails to connect emotionally, it doesn't do a lot that we haven't heard before, and - most importantly - it is utterly devoid of passion. The greatest works from Isis and Deftones were made as powerful as they were by the obvious passion the creators had for their music and by the immediate emotional hold they had over listeners. However, instead of the heart-on-sleeve anguish of Deftones or the massive, cathartic climaxes of Isis, the music of Palms is relegated to sterile, uninteresting post-rock that does not progress in any significant direction, does not evoke any feeling in its listener, and does not even remotely hint at any passion that Moreno, Caxide, Harris, and Meyer may have had for their art. The entire effort sounds phoned in: created for the purpose of merely releasing music rather than to convey the sentiments of the musicians in the form of music. The sad thing here, beside the squandering of a huge amount of proven musical talent, is that Palms actually have a memorable sound going here, differentiating itself substantially from the styles of its creators' main projects and crafting a really magnificent atmosphere, but all the talent and thought put into this aesthetically beautiful project will be for naught until its progenitors decide that they actually want to make this kind of music. In the meantime, we are left with four brilliant musicians creating music that lacks the passion and involvement of even their weakest previous works.



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user ratings (373)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
AaronBatt (4)
A super-group that's worth more than the sum of it's parts...

RivalSkoomaDealer (3.5)
While often overly-indulgent, Palms offer a debut that is at times equally rewarding....

Peter K. Mark (4.5)
A cinematic odyssey of majestic proportions....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ignimbrite
July 16th 2013


5456 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

This is my first negative review in around a year and a half and I am aware that it's not the best thing I've ever written. Tips for negative review are appreciated, as I'm much better at being hyperbolic than I am at being disappointed.

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DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2013


8935 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

it isn't even aesthetically pleasing thanks to the shit production

breakingthefragile
July 16th 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really gonna have to disagree completely. I honestly feel that I got just what I wanted with this
project. Chino Moreno singing over lush and drawn-out post-metal compositions with upfront shoegaze
and dream pop influences. I always thought they'd go hand in hand after hearing Deftones play around
with those ideas, so I was just really satisfied with this all in all for that reason.

Ignimbrite
July 16th 2013


5456 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

To each his own. I totally get what they were going for here, but it really failed to click for me like I'd hoped it would.

Eclecticist
July 16th 2013


3863 Comments


kroner what is this why would you even

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2013


6188 Comments


album would be better if chino would just shut the hell up

Ignimbrite
July 16th 2013


5456 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

believe me i really hate myself for this

breakingthefragile
July 16th 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review is well-done btw dude. You get your points across in a really straight-forward way.

eternium
July 16th 2013


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think you're unfairly comparing to Isis and Deftones.

Ignimbrite
July 16th 2013


5456 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I didn't mean to compare it to their music as much as I did to how much passion they conveyed with their music, if that makes any sense.

cvlts
July 16th 2013


8975 Comments


there are bits and pieces scattered throughout this album that sound almost masterpiece-like... but for the most part i listen to it and just think "that's nice..." and turn it off after a couple minutes in.

tempest--
July 16th 2013


14355 Comments


I agree with Beebe.

PistolPete
July 16th 2013


3639 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

YES

Thank you for this review. It was a great read

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InbredJed
July 17th 2013


6101 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You nailed it, album is a sham.

Glad Aaron got out with his integrity

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2013


7428 Comments


You nailed it. The record is quite boring. I have no intention of listening to it again. Great review.

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insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2013


3472 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I listened to this twice. It feels unfinished and the production is shit (like Noctus said).

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JS19
July 17th 2013


4365 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah this isn't really post rock at all though. Still bad and all that mind you. Production makes it unlistenable

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SCREAMorphine
July 17th 2013


1761 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review and I agree with pretty much everything you said

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2013


7428 Comments


If everyone agrees, why does it have a 3.7 average?

breakingthefragile
July 17th 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, with the shoegaze influences present here I think that the "poor" quality of the production might have been kind of intentional. I honestly think it adds to the atmosphere rather than detracts from the listening experience; makes it more raw while still remaining expansive.



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