Lights and Motion
Chronicle


2.3
average

Review

by Jared Ponton EMERITUS
February 15th, 2015 | 47 replies


Release Date: 01/13/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 99 cent store post-rock, plus tax

I wish I were Christoffer Franzén. While I'm here hunched over a keyboard at goddamn 4 in the morning, writing about the music, Franzén would be holed up in his study mixing, recording, or at one of his numerous instruments writing the actual music. Since when is insomnia a gift?

But for Franzén it is. His insomnia gave us the seminal 2013 debut of Lights & Motion, Reanimation, a record that's often cited weakness – a meshing pot of everything post-rock – is inherently its greatest strength if you take time to listen to the damn thing: why absorb so much of the instrumental shit from so many artists when you can get in all in one colossal sixty-minute album? The album is nothing short of riveting and a go-to for a get-into-the-genre gateway.

Still, artists need to feel they are unique in a sense, have their own voice, so Lights & Motion immediately got to work with more music that same year. Sadly, Save Your Heart, wasn't that awesome. Franzén had tried to individualize himself in that record, but he had ended up with a flat, albeit shorter product. Heart was more intent to lull than wow via a piano focus by Franzén rather than his more experienced guitar playing, his strength.

Funny thing is critics often referred to Heart as Reanimation's companion piece, when really, other than being post-rock-y and instrumental, the two sounded and evoked moods very differently: We can run a marathon to the latter, but we'd much more likely sleep to the former.

Franzén took a little more time with this here Chronicle, a release that owes much of its sound to Heart's more reserved approach. Which given the history is bad, yes: cue generic post-rock review here. It's got climaxes; it's got softer lulls; it's got them feels, but dammit what else is new?

You hear Explosions in the Sky in “Antlers”, the ever-present “Your Hand in Mine” reference repeated ad nauseam by so many. Elsewhere “Particle Storm” is clearly a Reanimation b-side. It explodes at the end, as many pieces on Franzén's debut did, but the build-up has a ridiculous case of tunnel vision to a dead end. And on, and on, and on – we have all read this review before.

My criticism of Chronicle is steep, true, but that's only because I know Franzén is capable of more, via evidence in Reanimation. The man writes and records all of the music, plays every instrument, and does it all from lack of sleep. That's quite a feat for anyone, but still if the product itself doesn't sound strong or succeed in any sense of the word, only merely exists, then it is a wasted effort, no?

A pet peeve of mine is pretty music that sounds just that, pretty, but doesn't feel pretty. That's this year's Chronicle. Snore. Good sleep aids don't always make for good records.



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 15th 2015


7568 Comments


Great review.

I'm not big on post rock, but an album that moved me lately was that below:

http://eltuboelastico.bandcamp.com/releases

Digging: Urarv - Aurum

SharkTooth
February 15th 2015


13751 Comments


looks a bit like a JViney review, not that that's a bad thing of course

JS19
February 15th 2015


5861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Even Reanimation was uninspired and boring. When there's so much fantastic post rock undiscovered out there it pisses me off that guys like this see more exposure ugh

Digging: Helpless - Debt

Gyromania
February 15th 2015


22908 Comments


those paragraphs..

shame this sucks; that album cover is so cool

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2015


15746 Comments


i remember when this guys first came out people were all like whowahwoah?!?!!

now they are all like awwww..

Ponton
Emeritus
February 15th 2015


6117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Reanimation is awesome

Digging: Ian William Craig - Centres

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 15th 2015


30760 Comments


*99-cent store post rock

SowingSeason
Moderator
February 15th 2015


24799 Comments


Damn good review. That opening paragraph is how I feel every time I write a review lol

Digging: St. Vincent - MASSEDUCTION

Ponton
Emeritus
February 15th 2015


6117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Clearly not a Ponton beer jam

Asdfp277
February 15th 2015


15326 Comments


"than it is a wasted effort, no?"
-then*

Ponton
Emeritus
February 15th 2015


6117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

gracias



Let
February 15th 2015


1598 Comments


This is every post rock record from 2000 condensed into one dull ass experience. [2]

Excellent review man, hit the nail on the head with that last paragraph

VaxXi
February 15th 2015


4095 Comments


Thankfully everything else on Deep Elm is miles better than this, I recommend Goonies Never Say Die if you want some great post-rock

Digging: FERN - FERN

zaruyache
February 15th 2015


17700 Comments


added voivod's rec to mah spreadsheet. Will czech later.

RadicalEd
February 16th 2015


8538 Comments


This is even worse than his debut. And the debut was pretty bland as well.

Digging: Blood Cultures - Happy Birthday

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
February 16th 2015


19975 Comments


pretty much one of the most insipid types of music is generic crecendocore

good review

jybt
February 16th 2015


358 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think this album is significantly different from Save Your Heart, but it's about as good, and still carries the unmistakable stylistic stamp of Lights & Motion. Fireflies, Northern Lights, Reborn, As The World Goes Away, and The Spectacular Quiet are standout pieces laden with quaint, touching emotion.



Reborn, in particular, is drastically different from everything Franzen has previously done: very eerie and foreboding, with the eventual explosion more like sitting inside a supernova than joining a victory celebration.



The production is better; the programming on Reanimation was rather obvious, but here the drumwork sounds more realistic.



The transition to shorter pieces worked well for Lights & Motion's style, and the success of another album in that format got 2015 off to a good start for me.

JS19
February 17th 2015


5861 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Are you from the promo team

Ponton
Emeritus
February 17th 2015


6117 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

I mean yeah it sounds pretty.



VaxXi
February 17th 2015


4095 Comments


This album is more or less all of the worst things about post rock condensed into one record.



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