Review Summary: 'Entendre' succeeds in delivering a synthesis of genres while at the same time keeping things in one piece.
Every so often, you come across an album that makes any attempt to categorise it destined to fail. Entendre the first release from Ulysses is one of these projects created to occupy its own space, thus making the task of filing them next to other contemporary acts nearly impossible.
The music duo from Boston in Massachusetts, describe their sound as ‘’quite foreign, yet oddly familiar’’ while encouraging the listener to get the full experience by listening the LP from front to back.
Sputnik sets the stage for the rest of this concept album and it’s clear from the opening moments that Ulysses have reduced instrumentation to its bare bones in favour of a more organic sound with the use of electronic arrangements.
Ulysses set out on their journey employing ambient sonic soundscapes intertwined with rap vocals. The vocals are aggressive, the lyrics reflect the insecure feelings of our times, disrupting the listeners’ reverie.
On Doubts, one of the standout songs in the record, Ulysses rap 'If you’re hearing me, just feel the fear in me' which resonates with the current state of affairs. It’s unsure if the band intended to make any reference to the current political climate but the lyrics feel like a retort to the fear-mongering and deception seen around the globe.
The dreamy, unflinchingly trippy ‘Neil’ is a tribute to America’s superstar astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, featuring one of his most famous quotes about the universe.
The album concludes with Horizon the most intense and emotional song in this first work of Ulysses, which has an energetic vibe thanks to the trip hop beats. 'Entendre' succeeds in delivering a synthesis of genres while at the same time keeping things in one piece.