Review Summary: Goat finds a sense of direction amidst the chaos
"We've been taught since we were small to have an understanding of not only western bands, but of music from other parts of the world. The title World Music was chosen because we believe we play 'world music', and that's what we think everyone plays. Also, the term 'world music' has some negative vibes – people say it with some form of contempt when they talk about it as a genre, but we think it would be strange for anyone to claim they didn't play world music."
This was how Christian Johansson, one of the three core members of psychedelic group Goat, explained the title of their debut album World Music
, which made waves back in 2012 when it released to critical acclaim. While World Music
certainly ended up getting a lot of attention for the vast range of musical influences from 70's psychedelic, to European folk, to salsa; some ended up questioning Goat's ability to follow up such an album that covered so much musical ground at once. Surely they have taken every direction they could have possibly taken on their debut and can't really do much to improve
, some had reasoned. Now two years have passed and Goat have released their follow up album Commune
, and surprisingly, it actually manages to build upon the already vast array of genre influences that made up World Music
, yet still just as much feel like a whole record showcasing the band's maturity rather than a collection of unrelated tracks.
, like World Music
, is primarily a psychedelic album incorporating instruments and styles from various cultures throughout the globe. That's not to say that Goat is not evolving musically however: aside from the added influences to their already extensive catalogue. The production has become noticeably tighter, and a lot more focus has been put into general atmosphere. This in turn, has cleared some of the noise from their debut. While songs in the first half, like the folk-influenced 'Talk to God' or the ever-groovy 'The Light Within', are strong enough in their own right, it is the second half where Commune really shines. Songs like 'Goatchild' truly manage to steal the show in their sheer Funkadelic induced mayhem, right until the true highlight of the album, a.k.a. 'Gathering of Ancient Tribes', brings Commune to a memorable close.
As a whole, Commune succeeds as a sequel. Not only does it follow what would be expected from a World Music follow up, but it is also an evident showcase for Goat's growth as a band with tighter production and a a sense of focus amidst the many, many
, genres that are employed.