Thomas Azier
Love, Disorderly


4.5
superb

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
June 14th, 2020 | 133 replies


Release Date: 06/12/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fear through the eyes of madness

The world has become a frightening place. There are obvious political, social, and climate-related reasons for this, but at its deep-seated core, it boils down to speed, connectivity, and population. In 1950, there were approximately 2.5 billion humans in the world – now there are 7.7 billion. The rate at which humans interact has also taken off exponentially thanks to the technological boom that occurred over the past thirty years. Now, we see and hear more than ever before. The world is truly at our fingertips, and nothing goes unnoticed. The forward-thinker will see it as a blessing, whereas the conservative-in-nature might view it as threatening to his/her way of life. If ignorance really is bliss, then the world becoming so acutely interconnected is both brilliant and terrifying. Just as Earth’s tectonic plates cause friction and destruction as they slowly reshape the continents, then so too must societal evolution wreak havoc. Sometimes, things need to break before they can be rebuilt. It’s 2020, and you and I stand precariously on the fault lines of such change.

Love, Disorderly is a bystander throughout all of this. It rests in the corner, studiously jotting down notes. Sometimes it captures beauty, other times it stares in horror. There’s no judgment or narrative, just absorption. The music is the reverse pendulum swing of the world that surrounds us; an equal and opposite reaction to a never ending chain of micro-events. Thomas Azier’s perceptions result in atmospheres that are beautifully visceral: full of love, full of disorder, and totally open to interpretation. It’s an artful representation of the chaotic present, and an electronic/avant-garde/pop tour de force that will sweep you off your feet with its powerful imagery and effortless evocations. This is the sort of record you hope for in times of disorder and confusion, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Azier’s fourth studio album is his unquestionable masterpiece. It combines a tangible retro-80s feel (beginning with his voice, which recalls Tears for Fears’ Curt Smith) with more modern production and electronics. It employs a Dutch orchestra that allows Love, Disorderly’s emotional zeniths to swell and flourish like never before. It also does more with less – Azier is lyrically vague, with songs often consisting of a mere few verses or a handful of repeated mantras. The intention is for listeners take from it what they may. Again, the idea of Love, Disorderly being a fly on the wall across various cultures and regions aims for absorption/interpretation rather than dictation – it places the onus on consumers to draw their own conclusions. It’s not political so much as it is catalyzing, or as Azier sings on the haunting, melodic ‘For Tsoy’: “I never needed your help to start a fire.”

Love, Disorderly most fervently pushes the envelope on its thunderous, militaristic opener and the manic, theatrical ‘Entertainment.’ The former conjures images of war drums and heated rhetoric – everything from protest suppression (buzzing synths drown out distant voices) to a nuclear arms race (the ramped up tension that sprawls across its runtime). ‘Entertainment’ is suggestive of the ever-increasingly blurred lines between what is digital and what is human: “I get orgasms through my phone…Let me taste your virtual skin.” So much of what Azier writes and sings about on Love, Disorderly is centered around the progression of humanity – whether it is through violence, such as a world war – or naturally occurring, such as our evolution from hunter-gatherers to digital fiends. The overarching message is that our existence is a dynamic, perpetual state of motion – bringing with it uncertainty that is both enlightening and petrifying.

A rare moment of lush, unfurling beauty comes on the closer ‘Open Your Arms’, where Azier indulges in pastoral acoustics awash in an electronic glaze. A ghostly theremin joins the mix to give it a haunting air as the song gradually fades from the tangible to the ethereal, by the end practically vanishing into ambience. It feels like a representation of the future – this gorgeous unknown that we can aspire to despite the ugliness of the present. It may be mysterious and difficult to discern from far away, but it will become clearer and more focused as we begin shaping our hopes and dreams from the purview of our present day. The moment is appropriately breathtaking, and as Thomas Azier quietly mutters “You know that I get caught between the waves, but there’s nothing left to say”, it brings a sense of finality to it all – to the album, to the world, to you and I. But if we can learn anything from Love, Disorderly, it’s that endings are simply transformations. We wouldn’t have the world we live in now had it not been for millions of years of gradual change. Surely then, whatever awaits us on the horizon – personally, politically, technologically – should not be feared, but rather embraced. I’ll see you on the other side.



s
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user ratings (63)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
June 14th 2020


35686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the memories Sput - it's been a wild ride. This is for all intents and purposes my final review, but I'll see you around in the meds thread.

Digging: Movements - No Good Left To Give

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 14th 2020


20291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

:O

SnipeCity
June 15th 2020


176 Comments


Enjoyed the final review. Hope that whatever comes next is meaningful for you.

bloodshy
June 15th 2020


1874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. It's insane that you wrote 500 of these things, Sowing. Thanks for the time you've dedicated.

bloodshy
June 15th 2020


1874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn this album has some serious growing power. Will have to bookmark it with a 4.

JesperL
June 15th 2020


1288 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sounds intriguing! one hell of a review to go out on as well

Digging: Two People - Second Body

tyman128
June 15th 2020


2210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review! Gonna miss seeing these from you, but like Jesper said, one hell of a review to go out on

dedex
June 15th 2020


4603 Comments


legend

Digging: Damso - QALF

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
June 15th 2020


21215 Comments


Great write up, but I firmly believe you'll come back for that 1000 milestone ;)

Digging: Hallas - Conundrum

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 15th 2020


35686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the wishes. This album was good enough to convince me to make it my 500th and final review over other considerations. It sort of came out of nowhere, and I felt like starting one last new-release-hype-train was the most true-to-form way for me to bow out.

You also might be interested in this little video collage the artist made for the title track: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgVy-R5jzJU. The statement he released regarding it was: This first track called ‘Love, Disorderly’, recorded with a Dutch orchestra, is accompanied by a film from director Laurent Chanez. I feel he managed to capture a ‘soul of the world’ in a series of observations made throughout 2019. It reads as if you were flipping through the pages of a book, of a National Geographic magazine, through Instagram stories and the news. It displays a state of the world without judgement or narrative...

ramon.
June 15th 2020


3737 Comments


deep-seated*

SteakByrnes
June 15th 2020


20707 Comments


Gotta write another hundred reviews to make up for that mistake I'm sorry

Digging: PVRIS - Use Me

Beardog
June 15th 2020


3732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Guess I gotta check this? Didn't know you were leaving (?) Sowing, thanks for everything.



Never heard of this guy, even though he's Dutch. Even more reason to check haha

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 15th 2020


35686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the edit. Also, I'm not leaving just no longer reviewing for the foreseeable future. Could be forever, might be a year or two. Just not feeling it anymore. Will still be kickin' it in the meds thread, the blog, and elsewhere.

I'm really hyped about this album atm. I always enjoyed Azier to an extent, but didn't think he was capable of making something this good. It feels like he broke through some kind of imaginary barrier and hit a new level.

Apparently he was inspired by the events of the world so maybe that had something to do with it.

Beardog
June 15th 2020


3732 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah, that's good to hear. Still really enjoyed your reviews so it's sad you're not making them anymore, but you gotta do what you want to be doing for sure! And yeah, imo it's easier to make good music when you have some kind of powerful inspiration, mostly caused by negative events haha

ChoccyPhilly
June 15th 2020


12707 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shiiiieeet, Arca in the recommended section? Well I guess this jumps to the top of the listen list



EDIT: Happy retirement Sowing bro

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 15th 2020


35686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Arca rec is a stretch - I'm not much of an electronic expert. This is more avant-garde pop than anything.

FuzzyThoughts
June 15th 2020


69 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can see this growing more with time, but sitting at a 3.5 for me right now. And I enjoyed the write-up, Sowing. Congrats on 500!

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 15th 2020


35686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks FuzzyThoughts! It's kind of a bizarre album, could see it not being everyone's AOTY but definitely enjoyable on a high level otherwise. Glad you gave it a spin. I fell in love with the vocals and the overall theme of tension & release; how the album builds up these atmospheres and then just plunges them into silence or a vocal sample, or a maniacal "wooo", lol. It's just so uninhibited and I love it.

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 15th 2020


35686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Honestly, this has the chops to become my first 5 of the year.



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