Review Summary: Exactly as expected.
There are a few predictable qualities that tend to hold true when reviewing a big-room EDM artist album. First, the album is often overlong. In Feed Me’s case, this is absolutely true - there’s virtually no reason the album should run for significantly longer than an hour. Of course, some albums do quite well with a rather long runtime (Deadmau5’s For Lack of a Better Name
comes to mind), but there’s typically some sort of thread holding the album together which justifies that length. Which brings us to quality number two: the album is usually all over the place. Again, Calamari Tuesday
fulfills the prediction. Jack of all trades, master of none, the album dips into boring trap, watered-down electro and French house, and haven’t-I-heard-this-before brostep, among others. No matter where the album goes (and it goes a lot of places - there’s even a chiptune ending to the last song, for crying out loud), it’s pretty clear from beginning to end that it always holds true to what Feed Me seems to have become - a lifeless, background-music-only kind of producer.
Jon Gooch should be better than this. As Spor, he revolutionized the drum & bass world with his blistering neurofunk and brutal basslines. Even in his early days of taking shaky steps into the world of EDM with Feed Me, he was at least interesting
: songs like “Blood Red” and “Muscle Rollers” exhibit what can be so good about clubby and generic-sounding electronic music. However, Calamari Tuesday
goes down the road trodden most recently by the likes of Sub Focus, Chase & Status, and Avicii. While it’s hard to deny that it’s kind of fun and well-produced, a lot of the album is sloppily done. Take, for example, opener “Orion” and how its ominous, threatening opening dissolves almost immediately into Beatport-top-100 electro cheese, tepid and stagnant. Or inevitable Tasha Baxter feature “Ebb and Flow” and how the stereotypical, exhausted “uplifting female vocals” over melodic synth lines melt into the kind of dubstep most of the music-listening world derides as “toilet music.”
Granted, some of the album is truly fun - the breakbeats on the very same “Ebb and Flow” and the chopped-and-screwed electro goodness of “Chinchilla” come to mind. However, on the whole, Calamari Tuesday
is just more of the same. Which is why it’s a bit surprising to see all the positive reviews it’s gotten across all corners of the blogosphere. “It’s as if Feed Me is opening the gates to a mythical mountain!” shouts Dancing Astronaut. “Cement[s] his place...among the upper echelon of producers in the world,” exclaims Your EDM. “Using a balance of instrumental tracks and ones featuring vocalists, Feed Me has created one of the better albums this year,” raves ThisSongSlaps.com.
Thus, the third predictable quality of the EDM artist album: people, especially so-called “tastemakers” such as huge electronic blogs, tend to love any album produced by a big name in the scene. Not that anyone’s wrong to like the album, of course, and to each his or her own. However, it feels like the press isn’t even trying anymore: there’s money to be made off of the stagnating pop-electronic scene, and so the scene continues to stagnate until there’s no more profit in 3-day festivals and EDM is rendered irrelevant. As a result, the art of reviewing popular albums becomes an endlessly repeating circlejerk where the end product is money instead of semen.
And, unfortunately for the quality of Calamari Tuesday
, it seems as though Jon Gooch has bought entirely into the phenomenon. The album is exceedingly safe and uninteresting, and it’s really saddening to see what was once a promising new talent only a few years ago devolve so rapidly. Though it’s probable this album could be used for background music while shooting virtual terrorists and trolling on forum boards, its future seems shaky. No doubt it’ll be cast aside in favor of the next big EDM release in a month or two, as is typical in the scene. Unfortunately, there’s not enough value in Calamari Tuesday
to keep it from being anything but that.