Review Summary: “The Lonely Robot” is a clever, and almost perfectly exercised combination of spacy atmospherics and post-rock.
No amount of words can ever sufficiently describe the beauty of space, but perhaps music can. There is something beyond this fragile Earth, something that makes our world look like a tiny speck of dust. Clearly, there is more to the universe than just our Earth, but the mystery of what lies beyond will always intrigue. There is too much out there that is unknown, and with this mystery, the mind races. So science fiction movies are created to enjoy and explore the unknown; the audience bursts into applause, as they’re fantasies become alive on the screen. Music can have the same effect, but without visuals to stare at, the imagination is allowed to run wild. Who knows what the listener will imagine" More importantly, who cares, for such an experience is personal and does not need to be shared with anyone. The Lonely Robot
is for you, and for you alone.
In order for an album to sound spacy (in my opinion), it needs to sound expansive yet remain minimalistic. It also needs to be instrumental, for in space, no one can hear you sing. Often, ambient music is the best choice for securing that spacy feeling, but what would it be like when combined with post-rock" This is what cssc attempts to do in their album, The Lonely Robot
, and their attempt is unequivocally successful. However, this is not a simple post-rock album, it is much more than that. For instance, the song ‘Assembly’ is only space ambience and chilled drums with a few microscopic electronics. Then comes the ‘First Steps’, a song that holds beauty and majesty, a song that is incredibly gorgeous, yet is not a post-rock song.
The band is best when playing at a minimal level, which is exactly why The Lonely Robot
is a progressive album. When their post-rock tendencies are exercised, their guitars are either extremely quiet, or they are played in short sections. More often than not, the guitars are only used to promote the spacy ambience, which is definitely welcome. It is much less welcome when they go all out, for it ruins the feel of the album, which is laid back – thankfully, the album is barely ever ruined. Another strange feeling occurs whenever the brass instruments start in (yes, you heard correctly, brass instruments). Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, the band would have been better off without them. It sounds great, and the melody is spectacular, but they somehow do not belong. Once again, the trippy feeling of floating in space must always remain front and center. Ultimately, however, that feeling is prevalent throughout almost the entire album, and the little mistakes remain inconsequential. What remains is a breathtaking trip through space, one that shouldn’t be missed for the world.