">
 

Halou
Wiser


3.0
good

Review

by TheSpaceMan USER (40 Reviews)
June 8th, 2018 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist


“Milkdrunk” is the first song on Wiser, placing the album on a soft bed of electronic strings and ominous melody. Mildly comfortable if not a bit uninteresting, it carries on for a long enough time to see a short trip-hop drum loop appear and fade away. Then Rebecca Coseboom's vocals enter, a definite talking point of Wiser. You'd hope a dream-pop / trip-hop group would have a vocalist with a gorgeous voice, hand-selected and home-grown to compete with the fusion of two genres so obviously filled with extraordinary singers. Yet Rebecca comes off as underdeveloped and soulless, choosing to force a breathy, wispy vocal tinge to mask any character and humanity within her delivery. It's very awkward to hear her burden herself with this odd and frankly failed artifice, especially when buried under this strange technique is a clear and crisp angelic voice (and it reveals itself in confidence at the best times throughout the album). The fact that “Milkdrunk” makes a point to recede around her and focus your attention on only her voice only further highlights its shortcomings. When the instrumentals do finally return, they make you appreciate how competent they are in contrast. In a way, it's a fitting introduction to the album, even if it isn't in it's own best interest, because it prepares the audience for the major flaw that must be dealt with to appreciate the good at play here.

I'd argue that enjoying the first song is an indication of better things to come. The album has many interesting tracks, some of which may take a while to get going but eventually reward their stay. Rebecca opens up in places such as “Before There Was Color” and “Feeling This is What It's Like to Fall Awake”, each riding on plodding beats and contorting synths. The strongest track on the album is the awesome “Him to Me to You”. The song is a powder keg explosion of droning and warping electronic melodies, downtempo-dancing alongside distorted guitar slides. Rebecca takes on a drunken Beth Gibbons approach here (think “Numb”), and while it treads the black waters of her weird stylistic decisions, it eventually grew on me to become a defining element of the song; perhaps it is symbolic to drowning in the noises around her, as suggested by the desperate and hopeless lyrics. All this being said, the album manages to offer solid variety despite its super niche and cohesive sound. With each song essentially boiling down to a pop piece, it’s all stand-alone. Everything is presented out of context and can thus be easily sorted and shifted through for easy cherry picking, and the album is all the wiser for it.



Recent reviews by this author
Autechre ConfieldCulprate Others
Alocasia Garden Burning the FlagsThe Horrors V
Pinkshinyultrablast Miserable MiraclesState of Grace Pacific Motion
user ratings (7)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpaceMan
June 8th 2018


13612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hey please check the song "Him to Me to You" because its incredible



thanks con and granitenotebook for solid editing suggestions (:

Conmaniac
June 8th 2018


27664 Comments


reads well man, i’ll p e e p that track then decide if i wanna sit thru the rest

Doctuses
June 8th 2018


1914 Comments


dont listen to this kinda stuff, but well written gj.

TheSpaceMan
June 8th 2018


13612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

then I appreciate you reading it anyways, Doctuses, thanks



and yeah con lemme know cause i absolutely luv that song

Asdfp277
June 8th 2018


24275 Comments


them recommended albums 👀

TheSpaceMan
June 8th 2018


13612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i was just sorta like: okay the two most popular dream pop and a trip hop albums with female vocals, a gaze/trip hop album, and then hooverphonic i guess.



seriously the shoegaze/dream pop + trip hop combo is a match in heaven and i wish there was more of it. or at least i wish i knew more of it. 'Teardrop' basically stands as the shining example that they are peppers and onions together. both these genres were burning rubber in the 90s underground//UK scenes and like why weren't they paired together more?

Asdfp277
June 8th 2018


24275 Comments


agree, not particularly fond of dream pop but i'm surprised i don't know much more popular trip-hop/dream pop endeavors

Asdfp277
June 8th 2018


24275 Comments


i know it's not from this but i'm enjoying "honeythief" more than "him to me to you"

TheSpaceMan
June 8th 2018


13612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh yeah thats probably my favorite off W&S, and that song is much more dynamic. but theres something about "him to me" that makes me love it enough to review this album over there other ones, which i probably listen to more, aside from their s/t for whatever reason

Chortles
June 8th 2018


21494 Comments


well written friendo, u've been pumpin em out. "drunken Beth Gibbons" is a great descriptor lol

TheSpaceMan
June 8th 2018


13612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sweet, all girl trip hop singers are some type of Beth Gibbons until proven otherwise

iglu
June 8th 2018


1740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I forgot how I came across this album, anyway need to listen to it again

TheSpaceMan
June 8th 2018


13612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh cool, a friend recommended them to me

iglu
June 8th 2018


1740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

see I don't have friends that would recommend me something like this, I think I just found it in some random blog

TheSpaceMan
June 8th 2018


13612 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well admitedly, the internet has better taste than most people

iglu
June 8th 2018


1740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

true

Source
August 13th 2022


19917 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

forgot how amazing oceanwide is wow



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy