Review Summary: Woah there, shloh down.
Happy, sad. Desperate, reserved. Excited, sluggish. It appears that Shlohmo
lives in a world of contrasts. To him, just having one, coherent tone is dull and uninteresting, which is why we have these slow, haunting rhythms flowing neatly over hip-hop beats. The listener ends up in a kind of stasis, suspended in between feelings; ending up being washed away in the sea of ambient fuzz.
is rather odd as a whole, really. Its to-and-fro mix-pot style lend to inconsistency, and I'd be lying if I were to say that it avoids this completely. You could say that it brushes past it: some themes and styles tend to work better than others, though none are particularly bad. The delicate, echoing sound found in tracks such as Get Out
and Just Us
, as an example, is incredibly consistent in the way it charms the listener only to pounce in with haunting overtones. This back-and-forth does lead Bad Vibes
to lack much in the way of cohesiveness: some songs run into each other, sure, but they often seem to do so simply for the novelty. I can't help but thinking that with a general movement, this album could have ended up being a lot more powerful.
However, building up a theme, story or communal direction does not seem to be the point
of Bad Vibes
. It's very much an album of self expression. Tracks like Same Time
and Trapped in a Burning House
could only have ever come into existence through a mixture of solitude and grasping ideas from the darker parts of your mind. Trapped in a Burning House
, especially, feels quite out of place in just how incredibly dark it is: with distortion and rhasping bass steadily building up to a crescendo. In isolation, however, it's captivating. By it's nature it does eclipse the song running after it, so still a more considered track order would help things.
It strikes me that if Bad Vibes
was reigned in a bit, it would be an incredible LP. The tracks sound great, they're all creative, intelligent and memorable... it's just that fitted as they are they work against each other. You find yourself dipping in for individual tracks instead of diving into the album as a whole.