Telefon Tel Aviv
Dreams Are Not Enough


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ricky Medina USER (6 Reviews)
February 12th, 2021 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Joshua showcases his masterful craft while adding heavy emotion behind his glitchy and ambient soundscapes.

This is Telefon Tel Aviv’s first release in a decade, ten years since the passing of Charles Cooper. This is also the first album with Joshua Eustis performing as the sole figure behind this project. Telefon Tel Aviv’s sound has always been evolving with their debut being influential to the underground IDM scene, to the R&B-heavy sophomore album or the previous record that had a slightly more EDM influence. Dreams Are Not Enough sees Tel Aviv’s sound shift, yet again, in another direction.

”I dream of it often / a younger version of myself / standing at the bottom of the ocean / arms aloft / mouth agape / eyes glaring / not seeing / not breathing / still as stone in a fiery fane.”

The track listing of Dreams Are Not Enough is a poem with each line being represented by a song on the album. This poem reads as a mysterious, ominous and personal tale. The poem represents the sonic themes found throughout the album very well and helps tie everything together as a cohesive piece.

The future of Tel Aviv was put on hold after Cooper’s death in 2009, but after a decade Eustis has decided to continue under Telefon Tel Aviv as a solo artist. Having written a much more personal and introspective record, Joshua showcases his masterful craft while adding heavy emotion behind his glitchy and ambient soundscapes. The consistent theme helps even the ambient and droning passages to have a meaningful place in the context of the album. The intro, ‘I dream of it often’, is a great example as the song quietly fades in before exploding into an electronic symphony. The track ‘a younger version of myself’ pushes it’s way forward with a galloping rhythm over layers of piano notes and Josh’s hazy singing. The ethereal sounds on ‘not seeing’ evokes feelings of being trapped in a lucid dream. While much of the album continues the trend of evolving the project’s sound, the song ‘not breathing’ harkens back to the IDM style the duo were once making on their acclaimed debut, Fahrenheit Fair Enough. This track starts off with a straightforward beat that becomes more intricate as layers of ambience and organized noise weave their way in and out of the song.

Dreams Are Not Enough may not be what one would expect compared to previous albums. Since the ambient sounds are much more prominent this time around, it may not be as instantaneous as past releases, but this is still a very important milestone for the future of the former duo. Eustis has crafted one of Telefon Tel Aviv's best releases since Fahrenheit Fair Enough.



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user ratings (47)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
ieatbabies795
February 12th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So on my fifth review I’ve noticed I can have a hard time knowing when to end my reviews, I try to not write something overly long or too short. Hope this is a good read.

ieatbabies795
February 12th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Feedback is appreciated

OSEL
February 12th 2021


497 Comments


nice to see these guys (now guy) getting some love

Digging: Low - Hey What

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2021


8894 Comments


Hey Ricky,

Overall the review is good, but I think you could extend/expand (not sure lol) it a tad. For example, the first paragraph could use some more information on how the band sounded like on their previous albums (I personally don't know them so that's the kind of info I'd like to know), especially since you start your third para by comparing this release and previous ones.
Also I find the transition from para 2 to para 3 a bit abrupt - I'm being a douchebag but I like to follow a fluid flow when reading a review.

Few pointers:
"each line is represented": each line being represented
"The poem represents the sonic themes found throughout Dreams..": just replace Dreams by "the album" so that there are no dots in the middle of a sentence
"The consistent theme helps even the ambient and droning passages to have a meaningful place in the context of the album"

Again, the review is good, you describe what's happening quite well, I just think you can go into more detail. A pos is coming your way! :]

Digging: Full of Hell - Garden of Burning Apparitions

ieatbabies795
February 12th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey dedex! i just fixed those grammar errors, gonna add more to my review and maybe re-word some stuff



“the first paragraph could use some more information”

“I find the transition from para 2 to para 3 a bit abrupt“



Okay I need to work on my transitions!

Thank you for the feedback

ieatbabies795
February 12th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ouch someone gave a neg with no feedback :/

Ecnalzen
February 12th 2021


10965 Comments


It happens. It's kind of a stupid voting system anyway. I am surprised it hasn't been done away with by now

I wouldn't worry about it. I bet hardly anyone on here has a 100% review/approval rating, anyway


parksungjoon
February 12th 2021


35784 Comments


fuck em

pos'd

Digging: Controlled Bleeding - Distress Signals

ieatbabies795
February 17th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Ecnalzen @parksungjoon

My boys :]

ieatbabies795
February 17th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn I feel like I’m so late on editing this but I’m finally back (and hopefully the review is better now)

I’ve been so exhausted with work and school but hopefully I can have my next two reviews up before the end of the month. I already know what records I’m going to review :D

Ecnalzen
February 18th 2021


10965 Comments


I will have another read then!

"This is Telefon Tel Aviv’s first release in a decade, ten years since the passing of Charles Cooper. This is also the first album with Joshua Eustis performing as the sole figure behind this project."
- I think this could maybe be reworded and/or combined into a single sentence. Mebbe something like:
Since the passing of Charles Cooper in 2009, Joshua Eustis has remained fairly quiet on the future of the once duo, but after almost a decade, he decided to continue under Telefon Tel Aviv as a solo artist. -

"The poem represents the sonic themes found throughout the album very well and helps tie the themes together as a cohesive piece."
- One of my few peeves in writing is repetition (maybe not everyone is bothered by it) and theme is used twice here. A simple fix, if you want to, would be something like: The poem represents the sonic themes found throughout the album very well and helps tie everything together as a cohesive piece.

"Dreams Are Not Enough may not be what one would expect to hear when compared to previous releases. It may not be as instantaneous as previous records as the ambient sounds are much more prominent this time around. That said, this is a very important release for the future of Telefon Tel Aviv and with this new record, Eustis has crafted one of Tel Aviv’s best releases since Fahrenheit Fair Enough."
- Got some more repetition with release and record, and I don't know why, but I don't really like the use of 'That said' here. You could mess with this a bit, make it flow a bit better for your ending:
Dreams Are Not Enough may not be what one would expect compared to previous albums. Since the ambient sounds are much more prominent this time around, it may not be as instantaneous as past releases, but this is still a very important milestone for the future of the former duo. Eustis has crafted one of Telefon Tel Aviv's best releases since Fahrenheit Fair Enough. -

These are more stylistic/flow critiques than spelling and grammar, so there isn't really a right or wrong way to do it. I was finding the read a little choppy in spots, so I thought I'd highlight them. You can use what I put or take it and mold it more to your own style. I wanted to give some examples instead of just quoting some stuff and posting "I don't like the way you did this for reasons"

ieatbabies795
February 18th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you for the help Ecnalzen. Even though this review had more issues than my previous ones I still feel proud of it, I think I was running into a wall when I was trying to see how/what to fix



I need to keep the problems here in mind when I write/upload my next reviews

ieatbabies795
February 18th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It’s been a long while since you’ve made a review Ecna

porcupinetheater
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2021


8515 Comments


Hey there ieatchillens, glad you're jumping in and pushing forward in the writing! It's not the easiest thing to do, and I hope you feel some pride in getting it out!

A little advice I would offer structurally (and feel free to disregard if you care to)

with how relatively short reviews are as a format, but how many different options there are, you want to jump out and grab with a hook. Working with the album details is functional, but it doesn't really grab attention to your piece. Every review is rooted in an opinion that you have about the music, so I'd recommend collecting yourself before you write, maybe sketching down thoughts on how you feel about the music before writing, and lead with that, as a thesis of sorts.

You start off there, introducing the death of a previous band member - that's a huge thing to grapple with in the creation of this record, but you bury it after that for more factual details on the recording, until hinting at it again with:

"Having written a much more personal and introspective record"

-That, to me, feels like your thesis. I want you to come out the gates connecting and developing these two ideas. It's the emotional hook that you can expand on, and can say something with. There's nothing wrong with also bringing in the factual details of the album, but I'd recommend trying to disperse it throughout the review rather than putting it all in a detail paragraph.

"This poem reads as a mysterious, ominous and personal tale. The poem represents the sonic themes found throughout the album very well and helps tie everything together as a cohesive piece."

How? That's the question you want to be asking yourself. How does the poem represent the sonic themes? What are they? How does this tie in to the more emotional, introspective nature of the album you mentioned? Don't be worried about putting yourself and your personal experience with the album into the review, ultimately that's what a review is. That's what people who take the time to read it are going to be hoping for.

Good work, though, Mate, and keep at it! It's a brave thing to do, putting it out there, and there's a lot of good starts here that I think you can work into some really nice reviewing!

ieatbabies795
February 18th 2021


821 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn that’s good advice, especially since I can have a hard time organizing all my thoughts or ideas together. I’m gonna try that with my next rev and hopefully it connects.

Thanks porcupine I’m gonna keep trying!

porcupinetheater
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2021


8515 Comments


Sure thing, Mate, stoked to see more! Cheers

Ecnalzen
February 19th 2021


10965 Comments


I hope we are all helpful to you in our own different ways here! Having an outside perspective is always nice with this kind of thing. Sometimes, regardless of how it feels, you kinda gotta post a review you know or think needs some work still and talk about it with others to see the things you missed or didn't think about and be ok with it being a work in progress.

I think there is a proofreading thread somewhere in the forums, but I don't know how often it gets used

"It’s been a long while since you’ve made a review Ecna"

I really enjoyed it at first but it got kind of exhausting to a point where I didn't want to write anymore. It felt like I was taking the fun out of listening to music, and I never really found a good way to attack writing a review and it always felt like a cluster fuck in my head and on the page up until the thing was finished. You are more than welcome to read thru any of my stuff to see if they give you any ideas, but there's plenty of ppl here that have honed their writing way more than I did when I was at it on a regular basis

I still love discussing music but more in bite size moments, like in the comments section or a quick soundoff. I found I enjoy proofreading/editing other ppls work more than writing my own



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