Review Summary: The shortest distance between two points.Drink the Sea
suffers from overambition: it tries too hard to be epic. By nature, an album like The Glitch Mob’s debut cannot be massive and memorable unless it gets really lucky. It’s much the same logic as the fact that a song designed to be an arena-filler cannot actually succeed: in order to be as grand as the electronic supergroup wanted it to be, there has to be some degree of organic creativity driven by the desire to make music in which the priority is making it good
, not epic. And, therefore, Drink the Sea
doesn’t completely succeed. The thumping Hollywood drums create a stark lack of variety, to the point that much of the album sounds strikingly similar. Sure, you’ve got surface differentiators - the rock organ on “A Dream Within a Dream,” the uplifting whoa-ohs of “Bad Wings” - but by and large the resonating snares and distorted, lethargic basslines tend to blend together eventually.
That’s not to say Drink the Sea
doesn’t succeed at all, though. On the contrary: The Glitch Mob, despite the cynical and jaded attitudes they tend to prompt, has created a surprisingly strong debut full-length. Sure, the cheese factor is rather high, but if the listener goes into the album expecting just that, he or she should find something to like. After all, there’s something alluring about movie-soundtrack-esque tunes: it’s easy to picture some mysterious swordsman kicking ass on the battlefield while the big-beat-influenced “How to Be Eaten by a Woman” pulses in the background, cymbals crashing and tribal-sounding toms thudding along to every deadly slice.
And really, an album is good if it presents an enjoyable experience for the listener. That’s exactly what Drink the Sea
does, and what more can you really ask of a group whose intentions were exactly that? Despite all its blustering and pomposity, the album creates a sensation of music that’s grand at the end of it all, cheesiness be damned. So what if it lacks any pretense of subtlety or grand discovery? As guest vocalist Swan points out in album standout “Between Two Points,” “the shortest distance between two points is a line.” Drink the Sea
is that very line, connecting soundwaves with sensations of grandeur and magnificence- despite the album’s logical fallacy in existing solely to be epic, its resilient pursuit and achievement of success is nothing if not admirable.