Typhoon (USA-OR)
Offerings


5.0
classic

Review

by Site HevyDevy Specialist USER (7 Reviews)
January 5th, 2018 | 54 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They're back and as strong as ever.

Seeing as I have recently begun studying for a track to neurology, I’ve been thinking a lot about the brain lately. It is a structure that has always fascinated me, and I’m sure it has fascinated most others at some point or another in their lives. How does it work? How is it that signals from our environment are turned into thoughts, into feelings? What happens when the mind no longer works as it should? The latter is a question that has apparently occupied the psyche of Typhoon frontman Kyle Morton, and it has become the source of a concept for Typhoon’s latest release, “Offerings”.

Divided into four movements (“Floodplains”, “Flood”, “Reckoning”, and “Afterparty”), “Offerings” begins with somewhat of an outline. “Floodplains”, which spans the first four tracks, gives an introduction to the recurring metaphor of a river of forgetfulness, a Lethe perhaps as this album is no stranger to allusions, that has flooded the mind of the main character, washing away memories and leaving only an empty plain. Such an image is represented in the most poignant moment of the album, “Algernon”, where the man in the story waits in a nursing home for his wife, unaware she sits broken-hearted right in front of him. Of all the emotional moments on the album, her line, “The part of you that I love is still in there even if it doesn’t know my name,” could bring even the stonehearted to tears.

Without over-explaining the concept of the rest of the record, it proceeds through the next three movements with stories before the scenes in “Algernon” of losing memories gradually, exploring the chaos of the mind once they are gone, and paralleling the loss of memory to a societal loss of history with a glimmer of hope, respectively. Even though the story is incredibly well done with little details hidden around that will not unravel for many listens, this album is much more than just a concept.

Anyone familiar with Typhoon would know that their nature as an 11-piece band has very often shone through in their sound, creating layers of masterfully woven together horns, percussion, and a chorus of voices that no other band has the capability to replicate. However, on “Offerings”, fans expecting more of this may be a little surprised to find that sound not so immediate. On first listen, one might even be tricked into thinking only 5 or 6 members of the band were present until “Unusual” flashes moments of that boisterous sound (And don’t worry, it shows up plenty throughout the record). I was tempted to think Typhoon had sacrificed this aspect of their music for the sake of its concept, a choice I would not dispute with its quality, but as I dug deeper several listens in, the layerings so present in White Lighter began to show themselves in a much more subtle way. In “Coverings” there is a soft electric guitar sliding around in the background and a humming cello hides behind the analogous story of “Bergeron”.

Another impressive feature in “Offerings” is its sheer volume of composition. At over 68 minutes, the album is already quite a full length, but considering there is seldom anything even resembling a chorus through its duration, the soundscape bears very little repetition, making each moment sound fresh and new. Of course melodic and lyrical themes run the span of movements or surface at various points in the timeline, but always subtly.

This subtlety is the biggest strength of the album. Whether it be in the moments where a violin pierces powerfully through “Ariadne” or in the mysterious hidden verses of “Mansion” that come together in “Ariadne”, there is always something new to discover. Unraveling allusions from Socrates to Vonnegut to Fellini or finding the new light strumming or wispy horn behind it, “Offerings” seems to have unlimited replayability. Of course some may not relish the idea of a lack of sing-along moments, but to those willing to be patient through the journey, this album offers much more.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
bgillesp
January 5th 2018


7089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

https://www.npr.org/2018/01/04/575086123/first-listen-typhoon-offerings

Before you say this is premature, I've listened to this album almost 10 times already over the course of a couple days. That's no more premature than most new release reviews here I believe.

However, I'd love some constructive criticism as this is only my second review, but it is for a band and album I am very passionate about, so I hope I did it justice.

Papa Universe
January 5th 2018


22505 Comments


hype machine or truth? you decide

bgillesp
January 5th 2018


7089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

For me, its 100% truth. I was unsure of it on my first few listens because "Floodplains" had already been so strong in my mind since October that I wasn't sure if the rest lived up to it. After I dug deeper though, it definitely did.

[edit] I don't think I'll listen to anything else for a week.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
January 5th 2018


3143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would've liked a bit more analysis, but it's clear that isn't what you had in mind for the review: as an overview / more general summary of your thoughts this reads really well. Great job. I adored Floodplains, so I'm excited to see how the rest of the album holds up. (: (I do think the review could've been sat on for a little longer, but I definitely understand if you felt as though you already had a good grasp of the album.)

Digging: Darcy Baylis - A House Breaking

bgillesp
January 5th 2018


7089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I definitely relied on the reader's understanding of Typhoon's sound before this to do some explaining. It was already a long review, so I was afraid of adding too much, but I totally understand that complaint. Thanks!

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
January 5th 2018


9146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Some extremely corny stuff here and there and I feel like the consistent tone/flow gets lost a little bit in the 2ND half but this is still just insanely great

Digging: AJJ - Good Luck Everybody

Papa Universe
January 5th 2018


22505 Comments


yeah, this is good

Papa Universe
January 5th 2018


22505 Comments


I guess it just requires a bit more patience and taste for cutesy bloated Folk-Rock that I just don't have. It is definitely great and powerful like barely anything is, but it just doesn't know when to stop and goes on forever, until it becomes exhausting. Still, I enjoyed it fairly well.

Papa Universe
January 5th 2018


22505 Comments


I'm afraid I'll leave it at these two spins, because there's a high cahnce of it dropping lower for me. Call it whatever you want, this is Post-Folk, baby.

bgillesp
January 5th 2018


7089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Glad you enjoyed it. I think unraveling the lyrics is a big part of this, but yeah, it won't be for everyone. Also, can you edit reviews? I just noticed a mistake

bgillesp
January 5th 2018


7089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I'd call this one slightly less accessible compared to White Lighter and of similar quality (to me) but just under it. White Lighter was dang perfect.

AsleepInTheBack
January 5th 2018


6094 Comments


Yeah, you can edit it from your profile page.

bgillesp
January 5th 2018


7089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Cool, fixed. The songs flow together so well that I misattributed something.

AsleepInTheBack
January 5th 2018


6094 Comments


Looking forward to trying this. Always a group I've wanted to check out.

Solid review too, bud. I did pick up on how you seem to favour long sentences with a bunch of commas in. You cut this down a tad; the semi-colon and dash are your friends, or merely just having a couple of sentences in place of one could help. It'd just generally make it more easy to read, and mix things up a bit in terms of the flow of your writing.

Particularly for stuff like this: "“Floodplains”, which spans the first four tracks, gives an introduction to the recurring metaphor of a river of forgetfulness, a Lethe perhaps as this album is no stranger to allusions, that has flooded the mind of the main character, washing away memories and leaving only an empty plain." OR "Without over-explaining the concept of the rest of the record, it proceeds through the next three movements with stories before the scenes in “Algernon” of losing memories gradually, exploring the chaos of the mind once they are gone, and paralleling the loss of memory to a societal loss of history with a glimmer of hope, respectively."

zaruyache
January 5th 2018


21774 Comments


Oh hey I liked their last album, need to check eventually pos'd

bgillesp
January 5th 2018


7089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Haha, yeah Asleep. Those are a little rough... I think in very long sentences in the writing process but I understand it's very hard to read. Believe it or not I was consciously trying to cut back on that in a few spots but those got through I guess. Thanks for the help!

cm7com
January 5th 2018


18 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don't think I've ever 5/5'd anything on here based on a first listen. This broke that. Sincerely phenomenal.

I agree that Floodplains was so strong that I also wasn't sure if the rest would live up to it. It sure as hell did.

ianblxdsoe
January 5th 2018


1916 Comments


well shit what’s all the fuss about over here?? would i dig?? pos btw :')

bgillesp
January 5th 2018


7089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Based on your ratings I'm not too sure but their averages across all albums show they're talented. If your in for an emotional indie folk journey then you'd love them. If you don't want to think too hard then start with their earlier stuff.

[edit] Even Sniff gave a 4 so there's something for everyone I suppose.

letsgofishing
January 5th 2018


1448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a striking, significant and devastating record.



I'm not entirely sure it's all that great yet.



This band is capable of such dynamic songwriting, and a lot of that seems sacrificed on my initial listens. There's only three or four fully formed songs here, the rest are fragments. That's ok, it certainly fits perfectly with the concept but I'm not sure surrendering so much of their sound for that concept was entirely beneficial.



I mean shit, there must have been some bored bandmates in studio.



Anyway, I'm nowhere close to a fully formed opinion on this or even a half-formed opinion, it's a dense work that demands attention and I haven't given it nearly enough yet.



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