Ricky Eat Acid
Three Love Songs


4.5
superb

Review

by William Lim USER (23 Reviews)
January 27th, 2014 | 139 replies


Release Date: 01/21/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A beautiful atmospheric patchwork; from beginning to end, "Three Love Songs" forms like an anthology but flows regardless.

Ricky Eat Acid’s Three Love Songs opens on first listen as an ambient record with six tracks and eighteen minutes of episodic sound evocations typical of the genre’s more atmospheric, less rhythm oriented side. That’s not to say that they’re not brilliantly done, but on first listen they’re essentially just six tracks of unfamiliar sonic motifs. Nevertheless, Three Love Songs is an ambient record and answers at this stage have yet to become clear: the question becomes whether or not there is meaning to be found within producer Sam Ray’s ungrounded, surreal soundscapes.

And then you hit track seven.

The mysteriously titled “It will draw me over to it like it always does” shifts from a gentle, airy foundation and light footed piano into a house song, and yet it’s so natural. It’s almost like watching a close-up of a young girl’s hand slip onto that of the lonely boy in a tearjerker movie: a subtle gesture of explosive emotional impact. Furthermore, it throws your impression of Three Love Songs out the window. By the point of arrival at “It will draw me”, Ray has made no attempt to indicate that a dance-oriented climax is approaching other than the fact that nothing has hit with any less subtlety than the total ambiguity of the preceding tracks; the lingering anticipation for the album to burst. And as “It will draw me” fades away, “In my dreams we’re almost touching” follows as another house track with bumping, positively dance-inducing rhythmic hypnotism that builds and builds and then fades away under an obscuring, crackly haze.

But, of course, this is all retrospective: the two-song dance centrepiece of Three Love Songs initially does not make sense being there on first listen and before you know it, it’s gone beneath the shimmering melancholy vocal sample on “God puts us all in a swimming pool”. The album’s last four tracks are of equal length to the aforementioned opening six, effectively book-ending “It will draw me” and “In my dreams”. Despite their low-key aura, however, they’re ten times more eventful, carrying the percussion-driven opening to “Outside your house; the lights went out & there was nothing”, the unbelievably haunting layering of “I can hear the heart breaking as one”, and the transcendental blip-blops of closer “Starting over”. With that, Three Love Songs ends, but the well thought-out nature of the album is revealed at its close. It transitions through three movements, beginning with the album drifting in a dream (tracks 1-6) before finding its footing (tracks 7-8) and then sort of combining the two approaches as it ends (tracks 9-12), dealing in builds and winds and climaxes for an expansive and expressive adventure contained in ambient music. Suddenly, structure gives the instrumentation meaning.

I wish I could say that the oral journey I’ve just dictated came to me across the course of my first listen; that my impression of the album changed from “just esoteric ambient” to “esoteric ambient with dreamy bangers” to “beautifully structured and fully realized” as I made my way through the album’s three controlled bursts. The truth is it took me about three or four runs of intensely focused listening to absorb every song and discover what they collectively form as Three Love Songs. The album is a testament to perseverance in listening to music and the fullness provided by a well constructed full length album: Three Love Songs was made to engulf the audience for forty-five minutes. And in that, even the most seemingly aimless tracks on the record culminate into a collective effort that reveals a flattering truth about Sam Ray: the album was a vision. For all its inane motifs and atmospheres that were no doubt little more than flashes of sound in Ray’s writing process, he crafts from them a record that truly means something. From there, the audience takes it and does with it what is always done with abstract art, ambient music especially: they decide for themselves what that meaning is.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
dimsim3478
January 27th 2014


5408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really didn't want to do a lame "this song makes me think about this [visual stimulus]" ambient review. I hope this did the album justice.

http://rickyeatacid.bandcamp.com/album/three-love-songs

Digging: Full Of Hell and Merzbow - Full Of Hell & Merzbow

Azn.
January 27th 2014


5617 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty sweet review/album

this could be the soundtrack to proteus

Crawl
January 27th 2014


1647 Comments


jimmy eat world

dimsim3478
January 27th 2014


5408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

wut

FadedSun
January 27th 2014


1317 Comments


Checking this out, despite the terrible artist name.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

still need to check this

solongatlast
January 27th 2014


206 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I loved seeing little ghosts everywhere and I love the first half of this, but I guess I'm just not much of a chillwave fan.

Digging: Stellar Young - Vessels

ShitsofRain
January 28th 2014


5956 Comments


will check

Cygnatti
February 1st 2014


22282 Comments


jimmy eat world

Digging: Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg

Phlegm
February 5th 2014


5553 Comments


really
like
this

Digging: Raresh - Fabric 78

dimsim3478
February 7th 2014


5408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Maybe that's a sign to, y'know...

...listen to the rest of the album?

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2014


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just a little bump to say this album is the tits. Great to see it reviewed! Have a pos for that and I guess a virtual high five for the good review

The bio is really cute if you haven't read it: http://anabundanceofstrawberries.com/

YakNips
February 15th 2014


13188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review for a great album

Digging: Jordaan Mason - The Decline of Stupid Fucking Western Civilization

Azn.
February 15th 2014


5617 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah fantastic review, good job

itchybutthole
February 15th 2014


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i agree

Digging: Futures - 21st Century Chimney Sweep

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2014


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A few things to note though:

... light footed piano into a chillwave song, and yet, it’s so natural.


the last comma here is completely unnecessary. Same with this, really:

And then, you hit track seven.


It breaks the flow too much. "And then you hit track seven" is much more powerful as a kind of "hold the presses!" statement if you keep it as a single clause. Get me? Overuse of commas in other places too but I'm sure you'll be able to see them. It's kind of a case of "if you don't need them, don't use them."

Final thing:

It begins drifting in a dream, finds its footing, and then sort of combines the two approaches as it ends: the album deals in builds and winds and climaxes for an absolute adventure contained in epic ambient music. Suddenly, structure gives the instrumentation meaning.


Structurally (we're both talking about structure, yay!) this is very confused and it took me a while to actually unpack what you were trying to say. It's as if you're starting a whole new idea after the colon with such a definitive tone so (1) a colon is inappropriate and (2) it's too sudden a transition anyway. I'm wary of going in and retyping it because I don't want to say "the way I do things is right!" because it isn't, but I'll have a stab:

It begins drifting in a dream, finds its footing and then combines the two approaches as it ends: dealing in builds and winds and climaxes for an epic adventure contained in ambient music. Suddenly, structure gives the instrumentation meaning.


Flows better without the clutter as well. Still a great review though - I really like your ideas about the album (:

I've recently been asked to contribute more with feedback, can you tell?


dimsim3478
February 15th 2014


5408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Woah, thanks so much. I really never get constructive criticism because I usually just review obscure records but this is more than I could ask for. Plus, I know I've always had grammatical troubles (yeah, my grasp of comma use is dogshit) but no one ever really calls me out for the aforementioned reason. Again, I'm very grateful, and it's great to see you putting that promotion to good use, Jonny. I'll get right to edits once I get out of bed.

we're talking about structure, yay!

Nice touch haha

dimsim3478
February 28th 2014


5408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh cool pitchfork just reviewed this

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/19056-ricky-eat-acid-three-love-songs/

MotokoKusanagi
February 28th 2014


561 Comments


grateful dead eat acid

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2014


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

1) took them long
2) that isn't a review it's an exercise in name dropping. If I was clueless about the groups mentioned (which I reckon most people reading it would be) it would make no sense.
3) gah!

I mean the dude quotes another pitchfork writer quoting another pitchfork writer. *facedesk*

tl;dr: this review's better.



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