Review Summary: Flor's debut record is a fun, glistening collection of songs filled with dreamy and glossy production.
In terms of style and production, this album sounds like it comes straight from the depths of MrSuicideSheep's Youtube channel, which posts music from indie acts with more dreamy and electronic production. They were even featured on that channel a couple of times, earning millions of views and gaining traction among the independent electronic industry.
But that isn't necessarily a bad thing, because this album is for sure a solid debut effort and easily establishes Flor as one of the better acts on their recently signed to label Fueled By Ramen. At first, I didn't think that they really fit onto the label that they signed to. But, the more I listened to the album and the singles preceding it, the more it made sense, especially after fellow label act Paramore
released a new album in a somewhat similar vein recently (This is obviously hinting that FBR are going for a shift in their overall sound among all of their artists).
Back to the album, this band's style seems to mix the electronic and glossy production, and innocent-sounding singing of acts like Owl City
with the indie rock of The Killers
's earlier work and a hint of new wave. I like to label this style of music as "Future Indie Pop" because of the gloss in the production. The kicks in the percussion really pulsate and stand out and provide powerful grooves that give tracks like "Guarded" and "Heart" a lot of single power, both of which I can easily see as top hits on the alternative charts. The vocals are lightly sung with reverb and vocal chopping in certain portions that give it a very unique tone of sound. This is one of those albums that has many electronic influences, but still retains the guitars and drumming parts prominently. In many instances, the guitar lines blend very well with the backing synthesizers through implications of reverb and mixing, like on the track "Unsaid" where the guitars and synths blend together to create a dreamy backing ambience to the track.
However, there are some cases throughout the track listing where the band seems to try too hard to be infectious and poppy in the chorus', especially on the track "Where Do You Go". The song "Spoiled" seems rather unfinished and too simple to me, especially when starting off, and doesn't flow well with the rest of the track listing. However, I will say that once the track starts to pick up, it becomes one of the darker tracks on the album. The second half of the track turns into a very grunge-influenced song backed with a CHVRCHES
-esque lead synth that compliments the powerful drumming quite well. Something like this could have fit easily into Paramore's Self-titled record. The band's weakness overall is in their lyrical content, which lacks to reveal any underlying messages and is often too direct and lazily written at most points. This is honestly kind of sad for a band that I would label as "Future Indie Rock", especially since most of their songs talk about the same sort of topics. But who am i to judge, especially on a debut record.
Past that, this self-produced band has an incredible amount of potential and has a real possibility of blowing up. They are very unique to their label, who haven't really signed anyone like Flor at all, and will for sure gain a lot more traction in the future.