Review Summary: A comforting escape into a fragile world.
It’s 2018 and there isn’t much new terrain to explore within the timbres of music. Of all the genres, electronic has had the privilege of extending that exploration the furthest due to its limitations being defined by any sound a computer can make. What better to mix an aesthetically focused genre like dream pop with, to give it a unique edge, than electronic？ Okay, electronic music fused with dream pop isn’t a new idea at all, but what if a folky guitar is thrown into the mix？ Electronic dream folk… with both a male and female vocalist! So, it’s like Blonde Redhead’s Misery Is a Butterfly？That’s not original, now is it？Wait no, it’s far slower, and entirely in Korean, and very different sounding, I swear! Misery’s electronic is more trip hop and Crumbling is not!
Okay, now that I’m done arguing with myself: Crumbling by Mid-Air Thief is a gorgeously textured album that is fairly homogeneous throughout. Each song is twinkly, folky, and filled with gentle vocals. Despite mainly subdued elements, the album is incredibly engaging. In no way are any of the songs minimalist -as each track competes with the next to see which can be filled with the highest amount of pretty and relaxing sounds. “Gameun Duet” probably wins that competition as both vocals (male and female) work together to sing perfectly in harmony. Even the epic sounding strings in “Protector” are incredibly relaxing despite coming after a buildup. A more playful approach to dreaminess causes "Why？" to stick out like a sore thumb flow wise, but on its own, it’s still fantastic.
In general, Crumbling is the aural equivalent to being covered in many decorative quilts in a cold room. Lucky for you guys: it’s almost December, so if you like dream pop, this could be your winter soundtrack.
Album Highlights: “Ahhhh, These Chains”, “Gameun Duet”, “Protector”