Baths
Romaplasm


3.5
great

Review

by Conmaniac CONTRIBUTOR (50 Reviews)
November 24th, 2017 | 147 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: oh love

I’ll just clear the air now and say it: Romaplasm is a disappointment. Stacked up against Baths’ back catalogue, it pales in comparison to the spritely burst of bubbles stained in Cerulean melancholy and stumbles next to the distorted smoke screens of screams echoing through Obsidian. Will Wisenfeld’s third full-length attempt tastes more like a rainbow lollipop dipped in a thick coat of chocolate; both layers delicious and achingly sweet (almost to a fault), yet unable to coalesce into a soothing flavor when eaten in its entirety. However, when sliced apart the record yields satisfying bites of oblique pop music, showcasing hints of progression within Will’s knack for production.

Romaplasm reeks of indulgence, as seen with the clenchingly catchy refrains and its thematic dependence on the personal articles scattered across the floor. While it’s undoubtedly a “happy” endeavor both in tone and subject, this contentment sometimes bleeds into hollow pop adventures. The entire structure of ‘Out’ feels outdated in its attempts to foreshadow the sickly sweet falsetto-ridden chorus, managing to become both grating and anachronous. While the hyper-catchy singles don’t suffer as much as this venture, I can’t help but slightly wince at the overly-ornate and operatic hook within ‘Yeoman’. Will Wisenfeld can definitely write an addicting melody, but for the first time in his career there is a clear disconnect between the emotions behind the notes and his thematic explorations. While the idea of singing about “personal interests and passions” in order to evoke inexplicable feelings is an audacious one, it’s clear to see why certain emotions come off as phony or surface-level. Yet, it’s difficult to completely throw away the entirety of Romaplasm, as often times the album succeeds in providing addicting dopamine hits. The clearest case of this has to be the ADHD-sounding ‘Adam Copies’, a track that pulses by in a flurry of harmonious bleeps and bloops. ‘Superstructure’ and ‘Broadback’ follow the same animated pattern of excitement, spawning glimpses of fervent yells that feel passionately real. Here is truly where Will’s production gets the spotlight on the bedroom-themed stage; an exciting peek of a craftsman honing in on his skills.

I’m probably making it look like the album is purely a energetic flare of electro-pop that only succeeds when the melodies don’t come across as bites of artificiality. While this much is true for half of the tracks within this record, there’s still hints of solemn vulnerability that Will so elegantly portrayed in Obsidian. There’s something gorgeous within the crackling echoes of ‘Human Bog’, especially when Wisenfeld admits, “I’m queer in a way that works for you ,“ in a somber yet realized tone. As far as electronica ballads go, Baths somehow manages to be both busy in production and haunting in melody while still sustaining a chilled-out aura of moonlit blues. ‘Wilt’s’ Pyramid Song-esque piano loop offers doses of earnest sedation and romantic admissions (“I’m craving your skin, rain that swims / An October wind is prevailing again ”). While not every slow song can be associated with success, it’s still nice to see these breaks in the hectic vibrations and sometimes overly-dramatic vocal refrains. It’s a frustrating listen for a number of reasons, namely not living up to the lofty expectations its predecessors set. So yes, Romaplasm is a disappointment, suffering from self-indulgence and dissociations of intents. And while it has produced some of Will’s worst song outputs to date, him clutching to the contemporary will either help him breakthrough into universal appeal or it’ll catalyze his own demise as an artist always attempting to “catch-up”. While I hope and pray for the former, only time will tell.



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user ratings (46)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Lucid (4.5)
queer in a way that works for you...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
November 24th 2017


20220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

50 reviews oh my...hopefully this reads well but lmk if it doesn’t. thank you to Jeremy for the edits. album was a disappointment but still kinda “fun”



stream: https://anticon.bandcamp.com/album/romaplasm

musicallychallenged
November 24th 2017


538 Comments


good review!

Digging: Charli XCX - Pop2

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
November 24th 2017


20220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

appreciate it!

Evokaphile
November 24th 2017


6516 Comments


Awesome review. Unfortunately the album cover is more than enough to keep me far away from this. Something about it just subtly grinds my gears and makes me feel like stopping with Cerulean isnt a halfway bad idea.

Digging: Less Art - Strangled Light

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
November 24th 2017


3812 Comments


I just wanted Obsidian 2.0, was that too much to ask?
The worst thing about this is that the best tracks are *really good*, but the majority of songs are otherwise just...annoying. I was originally gonna give this a 3.5 but the more I go on I feel like it’s a 2.5

MayhemWithMercy
November 24th 2017


6237 Comments


woah a snox rating

Dewinged
November 24th 2017


7053 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I hate the first two tracks with all my heart and soul. The rest is ok and Adam Copies bangs. Great review Con.

Evokaphile
November 24th 2017


6516 Comments


wth Snox

Astral Abortis
Contributing Reviewer
November 24th 2017


3812 Comments


What, evok?

Evokaphile
November 24th 2017


6516 Comments


a rating... from you...

Its just weird. Gives me the heeby jeebies.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
November 24th 2017


20220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks Dewi/evok

and yeah def echo how frustrating this album is, but the highlights are perfect tbh

Asdfp277
November 24th 2017


16145 Comments


dude on the cover reminds me so much of human shrek and it's freaking me out

Evokaphile
November 24th 2017


6516 Comments


and like... who's fuckin hand is that?

Asdfp277
November 24th 2017


16145 Comments


prince charming's

Asdfp277
November 24th 2017


16145 Comments


NO LORD FARQUAAD'S

henryChinaski
November 25th 2017


3895 Comments


Loved all his previous records, but this is kind of a letdown.

Digging: Blood Cultures - Happy Birthday

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2017


20220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

indeed ):

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2017


13358 Comments


"it pales in comparison to the spritely burst of bubbles stained in Cerulean melancholy and stumbles next to the distorted smoke screens of screams echoing through Obsidian."

this sentence reads really awkwardly to me

Digging: Ulcerate - Everything Is Fire

Lucid
November 25th 2017


8822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is amazing. will wiesenfeld with the double aoty

plane
Emeritus
November 25th 2017


6868 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Definitely his best, but I can see the strain it might have on some folks.



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