Review Summary: Grey day chill-out music.
Judd Madden seems to be a prolific fella. Since his first release 'Waterfall' was released back in 2011 he has released 6 more full length albums, most of which consist of slow, heavy instrumental doom tracks which although worth checking out, have a tendency to repeat themselves to the point where listening to an album in one sitting becomes a monolithic task. His second album however, entitled 'Float', is a slightly different beast. The repeated ideas are still there, but instead of the aforementioned heavy-as-elephants riffing this album is light and delicate in feel, with far more emphasis on acoustic elements than wall-of-sound distortion.
Across its 66 minute length, Float maintains a relaxed, laid back feel throughout without ever seeming too whimsical - this isn't a melancholic album, but it feels as though it would be more suited to a dreary November Sunday afternoon than to a sunny July afternoon down at the beach. This is achieved by never letting the music reach a discernible climax (one notable exception being Wake, Pants), instead allowing primarily the drums and the bass guitar to move around repeated sections of guitar or piano to move the music forward; indeed, there are many improvisation-based elements which have varying degrees of success at keeping the music interesting.
As alluded to at the end of the last paragraph, the success rates of the 14 tracks at remaining engaging are somewhat hit-and-miss. Perhaps surprisingly, the longer tracks (Wake, Pants, Wandermind and Frontier) seem to generally do a better job than many of the shorter ones - whether this is due to being allowed more time to generate a lasting improvised section or simply that the seeds used to 'grow' these tracks were better is questionable, but where these remain very listenable throughout others feel a bit like filler (A Holiday and One Day, We Will spring to mind with their distinct lack of progression across their running times). Another issue which hampers the album's listenability somewhat is some of the tracks do not flow together particularly well - it feels in parts as though this is a compilation of songs written in isolation of each other that fit a certain style.
Despite occasionally suffering from stagnation, this is on the whole very good for those times where you want life to just slow down a little, to allow time to appreciate what's around you now as opposed to what's being worked towards.