Material Girl
Tangram


4.5
superb

Review

by Gyromania USER (57 Reviews)
December 10th, 2020 | 76 replies


Release Date: 06/12/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “A big nothing-burger of background music”

I’ve seen Tangram loosely described as “sound collage” by a few people on the internet and it’s hard to argue with that descriptor, even if it does feel grossly reductive. The Philadelphia-based rapper and producer known as Material Girl dabbles in a lot of genres. From classical to funk to hip hop to jazz and so much more; Tangram is a smorgasbord of musical delights waiting to be unpacked. It’s also a bit ‘challenging’ - a word I’ve grown less fond of over time, as it’s rarely ever true and sounds hyperbolic. At first blush though, it’s easy to dismiss this as aimless and obtusely inaccessible. Listeners won’t find much in the way of conventional album flow here, but after a few plays it’s impossible to not fall in love with how gorgeous and engrossing some of these moments are. And Tangram is very much an album of moments.

Never content to rest on its laurels, Tangram is an ever-changing beast. Songs will sometimes just abruptly shift towards a completely different tone and mood, which takes a bit to adjust to. Take the first 1:40 of “Platypus”: it sounds a bit like a lost Boards of Canada track until it transforms into this melancholic ambient joint with a wavy, modulated background vocal croon that wouldn’t sound especially out of place in Burial’s catalog, before finally taking one last sharp turn in its dwindling minutes and morphing into some of the absolute smoothest lounge jazz I’ve ever heard. Seriously, I could listen to this shit on loop for an hour straight and never get sick of it. It’s sublime. Then there’s “Flood”, another absolute gem of a track with one of the most downright beautiful, life-affirming choruses I’ve heard in all of 2020 (I hesitate to say it sounds a bit influenced by gospel), which quickly turns into one of the album’s darkest and most emotive moments. And “Swoon”, a track featuring some woozy, disjointed violins that coalesce into this very romantic, classical sound, that eventually arrives at a weirdly ethereal, robotic-sounding climax. All of this throws you for a loop until you start to settle into the sound, only to be served “On My Way Out”, a closer so perplexingly normal by comparison to the rest of the record that it seems out of place.

It can appear a bit jarring at first, flitting from one headspace to the next, but Tangram is a special album if you give it time. It’s cliched as hell to say “it has something for everyone”, but it really does. Maybe not everything will resonate with listeners, but a melting pot of ideas this potent is bound to appeal to each and every person who hears it in some way, even if just in a few fleeting moments.



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user ratings (27)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
December 10th 2020


32468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good ass album. don't sleep on this.



either listen on spotify, or here's a link to the youtube playlist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTk7UMBvLq0&list=OLAK5uy_n_ltBZJz2bTunglrAzEgJTza0e586ehyA



album's pretty short too, clocking in at around 40 mins

anat
December 11th 2020


4222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this very much schlaps and i'm glad it has a review

Digging: Cereus Bright - Give Me Time

Gyromania
December 11th 2020


32468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

happy to see you dig this, anatelier! favourite tracks?

anat
December 11th 2020


4222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

probably "swoon", but honestly the whole thing is a trip

hal1ax
December 11th 2020


15558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

haha nice summary. i love this record

hal1ax
December 11th 2020


15558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and ye flood and swoon for me prob. i always listen to the whole album when i jam it though.

Ryus
December 11th 2020


23806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gonna check dis

hal1ax
December 11th 2020


15558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i think youll dig it

Gyromania
December 11th 2020


32468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

platypus, flood, and everything after the first 2 mins of funeral parade for me

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 11th 2020


66928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is good but it also reminds me of when me and jots tricked fripp into liking knablinz

hal1ax
December 11th 2020


15558 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ayy nice dig. been listening to charmed non-stop lately

zaruyache
December 11th 2020


24085 Comments


i liked this one too

Jots
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2020


7354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@pots - I came



full circle and this might be my aoty maybe

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 11th 2020


66928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I should probably revisit it before I make my aoty list in a couple weeks when the year is actually over

Jots
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2020


7354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idk if there will be room amidst the 100+ 4.5s you’ll give out 🙃 but I am hope

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 11th 2020


66928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll have you know I've actually been quite sparing with 4.5s this year, big on 3.5s in 2020

Gyromania
December 11th 2020


32468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

def aoty material boiiiiis

Gyromania
December 11th 2020


32468 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"ayy nice dig. been listening to charmed non-stop lately"





i actually saw pots' rating for that recently and checked it out too but i haven't dug deep yet. seems pretty great from what i can tell though.



"haha nice summary. i love this record"



glad someone notice this lmao

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 11th 2020


66928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah people seem to be genuinely enjoying charmed somehow

Lord(e)Po)))ts
December 11th 2020


66928 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I for one just fived it for the meme



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