Ex:Re
Ex:Re


3.5
great

Review

by Dewinged USER (38 Reviews)
December 6th, 2018 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A pop funeral for Elena Tonra's heart.

From the window of some seemingly expensive hotel's room 232, Daughter's very own Elena Tonra contemplates New York City, briefly surrendering to the drunken hallucination of past romances and sentimental failings. She's at war with the mini-bar, and she is definitely winning. It's her way of dealing with a break-up, a methodical approach, sure, but one as good as any other. Turns out, it's also the glossy excuse for her first album under the moniker "Ex:Re".

Elena Tonra's first musical effort outside the dark ambient pop realm of Daughter is one that goes through several phases: Anger meets deception and clashes with careless euphoria in a matter of ten tracks. Like an unforgettable night out and the consequent hangover, the vicious circle repeats itself every three or four tunes until it finally passes out without a clear conclusion. Musically, the instrumentation in Ex:Re seems to be stark on principle, but tune that ear in and you'll find it's riddled with a decent amount of detail. It takes an effort on the listener’s side, but it is this good will what keeps it from being stale and unimaginative. Because it's easy to feel desperate or simply bored when listening to Ex:Re for the first time. Elena runs at a very different speed when she is by herself, in her own difficult mood. Meanwhile, it's November and the world races on to the next great thing, desperately looking for that last addition to those already bloated AOTY lists. But Ex:Re has bigger matters to attend to, her own heart's funeral being the most pressing of them.

If Daughter is Elena Tonra's pleasant dreaming, Ex:Re is her awaken nightmare. She is unleashed here, speaking in venomous tongues and even channeling some Sun Kil Moon here and there in songs like "New York" or opener "Where the Time Went". She sounds angry, drunk and occasionally exhausted. First single "Romance" shares the brightest moment of the album with the vibrant "I Can't Keep You", both tracks being Elena's rough idea of party mode, and yet the music sinks in unforgiving darkness. Hard truths are shared, and disturbing details are given in the name of alcohol, a "drunken stutter" as she would say. And then comes the headache, namely "The Dazzler" and "Too Sad", a couple of trip-hop unpolished gems that drag their weight through the middle part of the album, with the latter being the closest to Elena Tonra's sound with Daughter. After the piano-driven fantasy of "5am", the album closes up with "My Heart", an intimate indie folk-in-the-room confession that sends off Ex:Re out in the silence.

Ex:Re is a confusing album. Elena Tonra's solo effort is a charming and fascinating riddle that will remain unsolved for many. It's like that joke that no one really knows if it's ok to laugh or it would be more appropriate to look away and pretend it never happened. It's your drunken sister making a scene in your wedding because things are just falling apart in her life, and the more you try to reach out to understand her, the crazier she sounds but still, you empathize. And maybeEx:Re should just be treated as that, as something that Elena Tonra just needed to get out of her system before moving forward with Daughter, for the sake of healing, for redemption. The result though is an album that feels hostile at first, but one that patience will reward, if given the proper attention. Whether you decide to be her confident or to completely ignore her tale it’s up to you, but no matter what approach you choose, don’t forget that wine will undoubtedly help.



Recent reviews by this author
Thou InconsolableWye Oak The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs
A Place to Bury Strangers PinnedAzusa Heavy Yoke
Rata Negra Justicia CosmicaDead Can Dance Dionysus
user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
December 5th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hated this album at first, now... not so much.



Check "Romance" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_Pf7z9Zr70



Elena is OP.

Digging: Kaelan Mikla - Not Eftir Not

neekafat
December 6th 2018


13371 Comments


Veryyyy curious about this release, nice review!
Not sure how I feel about the first para but I absolutely love your language in the rest of this

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you man, I am not sure anymore about this album but I thiiink you might actually like it more than me.

neekafat
December 6th 2018


13371 Comments


Oh yeah? I'll try to give it a listen before the end of the year! You know how it is with my cram list though lol

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know man, I am cramming hard too, feels like being in the week before the finals haahaha

neekafat
December 6th 2018


13371 Comments


Man I feel that! It's a good problem to have, this year has been so damn good

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Right? I feel I've heard too many albums this year though, next year I am planning to chill out a bit with new releases cause at this point of the year I always feel I'm going slightly mad lol

zakalwe
December 6th 2018


26036 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice one dewi. Pos’d

Album is nice

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Zaka, gotta confess I saw your 4 and it made me go back and give this a few more listens. I already had the axe out.

neekafat
December 6th 2018


13371 Comments


Good call, I don't know if I could ever do that though since this year and last are the first years where I'm really actively listening to new music. It's so fun to engage about!

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah man but don't you have the feeling that a lot of the albums you have checked you have only done so on a very shallow level? I know you have a 3 spins rule but for me some albums were like, jam once, rate, see you never.



I kinda wanna try to be a bit more selective next year, recently I only feel I "get" an album when I review it.

neekafat
December 6th 2018


13371 Comments


Nah honestly I've been breaking it down to two for the cram list, makes me very sad :c Try to still do three for the ones I'm really loving tho
That's fair!

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's hard to choose though, when new releases come out, just skimming through them and see what's worth jamming in full. It happened with this album actually. I love Daughter, so this was a no brainer. First time I listened to it I was so disappointed, so bored and now I actually like it a lot.



And that could apply to... any other album so you can see my predicament lol

Ashtiel
December 6th 2018


221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's far from elena tonra's darkest lyric but This one thinks I'm a slaughterhouse on "Romance" always gets me.

either way this was a very nice surprise and will accompany well through these winter months.



Digging: Ex:Re - Ex:Re

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah man, that's what I referred to up there with "hard truths are shared, and disturbing details are given". That whole chorus is pretty brutal.

Ashtiel
December 6th 2018


221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i am left wondering where daughter will go with their next full-length though, if they'll leave behind the countrysides and ethereal wastes of their past two albums and go with something that paints soundscapes in more of an urban environment and less ethereal/nocturnal.

there's tons of potential but i'm in no rush as i haven't even heard songs from before the storm lol

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Honestly a metropolitan theme would be nice but I hope they don't change that much

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
December 6th 2018


24241 Comments


pop funeral huh? sounds lovely nice one dewi

luci
December 6th 2018


10366 Comments


is it a pop funeral cause i'll be deceased from boredom?

daughter is the epitome of youtube autoplay indie

Dewinged
December 6th 2018


13064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tx Con.



Knowing you Lucid, I'd say you'll dig the single and maybe couple of more tracks, but that's about it... Or not, maybe you love the whole thing. I don't know anymore with this girl.



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





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // 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 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy