Hiatus Kaiyote
Mood Valiant


4.5
superb

Review

by Detective Ars USER (35 Reviews)
June 29th, 2021 | 96 replies


Release Date: 06/25/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album that flowers in both sound and in theme, Mood Valiant is Hiatus Kaiyote’s most focused work yet.

Despite vastly different runtimes (30 minutes, and 69 minutes respectively,) both of Hiatus Kaiyote’s previous studio works had five transition tracks that ultimately served to emphasize their weaknesses. With Tawk Tomahawk, it was the realization that if it weren’t for the transitions, the album would have only been EP length, causing these tracks to feel like padding. As for Choose Your Weapon, these transition tracks made an already lengthy album feel overlong without adding much positive. Both albums have forgivable examples of this (namely “Ocelot” and “Choose Your Weapon”,) but Mood Valiant’s decision to only contain three under 2-minute tracks and to have an overall runtime of 42 minutes is a wise fix.

The non-transitory tracks on both previous albums were typically fantastic and Mood Valiant follows suit as the band progresses with a more adventurous, more necessary, and even more sonically diverse sound. “Get Sun” incorporates horns for the first time, adding an obvious brassy element that was surprisingly missing from their previously established soul-jazz soundscape. Both the band’s complex and constantly shifting rhythms and Nai Palm’s soothing yet passionate vocals sound more confident than ever. Ear catching percussion, pretty strings, and their signature jazzy bass and piano are all still present and as tightly written as ever. While the album leans typically more on the weird and upbeat side of soul, the penultimate track “Stone or Lavender” still manages to provide a slow-burning pop ballad filled with passion. This sound diversity hardly interferes with the album’s cohesiveness as the flow between tracks is clean and natural.

Thematically, the album is far less nerdy than Choose Your Weapon. No references to 80s video game systems, select screens, Miyazaki films, or DC Superheroes are present. Instead, the lyrics feel more connected to flowers and intimacy. Tiger lilies, roses, waratahs, lavender, and chrysanthemums all grace the lyrics and are often compared to love and sex. Even the one nerd allusion is of a fire flower (from Mario,) that Palm sings of kissing. It may be a missed opportunity that the album cover isn’t a tribute to Georgia O'Keeffe’s yonic floral paintings -or maybe that would be too on the nose. This theme change, along with a greater presence of the strings creates a new vibe of maturity and thoroughness.

If anything is missing here, it's the funk elements on their previous effort, but those were never the project’s focus -just another spice in their soul-jazz stew. Though this may make the album less fun than its predecessors, fun is far less the goal here. Somehow Hiatus Kaiyote managed to hold onto all of the best ideas of Choose Your Weapon, while incorporating enticing new ideas, all with a satisfyingly medium runtime.


Album highlights: “Chivalry Is Not Dead”, “Get Sun”, “All the Words We Don't Say”, “Rose Water”



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user ratings (94)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ArsMoriendi
June 29th 2021


35179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Kompys for the proofread

Digging: Coil - Musick To Play In The Dark

LeddSledd
June 29th 2021


6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet review. still gotta check this

Trifolium
June 29th 2021


26086 Comments


Great review Ars! Sadly this bunch isn't for me, too jittery/overcrowded, makes me all b BB bzzrrzkkkrrrzzzrzrr.

Deez
June 29th 2021


8248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Solid review mate. God I love this record. Maybe should have mentioned the whole trip to Brazil and working with Arthur Verocai which was paramount to their outlook on this record and the writing/recording either side of Nais Breast cancer diagnosis. All massively important in the context of this.



Only dud for me is the placement of that last track. Not the track itself. Have seen some complaining that some tracks 'dont go anywhere' in comparison to CYW also and Fantono has had a moan about the mix but yeah, not for me, I adore it. I adore this band.

Digging: Qrixkuor - Poison Palinopsia

normaloctagon
June 29th 2021


6275 Comments


i'm with trif but gr8 review bud

ArsMoriendi
June 29th 2021


35179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah this album is as jittery and crowded as the last one, so deff avoid if you don't like it kinda thing



@deez: I didn't know much about that, welp maybe if Rowan gives it a staff review he'll dive into that

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 29th 2021


67108 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One "Stone or Lavender" away from perfection



Probs their best anyways

Kompys2000
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2021


6361 Comments


I'm surprised I haven't seen more music theory youtubers/jazz school kids creaming their pants over this band, maybe I'm just not as in the loop with those sorts as I used to be

Anyway this is cool, chill relaxing neo-soul beats to study to

Relinquished
June 29th 2021


46890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

chivalry is not dead has plenty of funk for the album ars



that’s pretty much my baby gripe on the review, but good job dude. I like how you dug into the interlude problem the othe records have. I dig em but I always skip them too.

Deez
June 29th 2021


8248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Stone or Lavender" is my SOTY so far no doubt. That type of ballad is so far removed from my normal listening but god damn, I was hoping there would be one with Nai just purring. Thats it.

ArsMoriendi
June 29th 2021


35179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't know what a waratah was until I was looking over the lyrics for this review and I gotta say: what a strange-looking flower

FadedSun
June 29th 2021


2727 Comments


Didn't know they were dropping another album. Going to check this immediately.

hamid95
June 29th 2021


984 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

can't wait to dig into this one, ages since their last record

Kompys2000
Contributing Reviewer
June 30th 2021


6361 Comments


This album is good but red room kinda sucks

Relinquished
June 30th 2021


46890 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fuck outta here with that take



listen to d’angelo

Kompys2000
Contributing Reviewer
June 30th 2021


6361 Comments


D'Angelo is so good, I really need hard copies of his stuff

Deez
June 30th 2021


8248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nah Red room is the shit. Didnt really hit me at first but its THE SMOOTHEST

ArsMoriendi
June 30th 2021


35179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Red Room's prob the plainest song on here, but after the chaos of Rose Water, it's a good chillout track



the flow on here is immaculate tbh

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2021


45724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

nice work on the review, been fully writer's blocked trying to do something for this and dunno if I will. glad this got featured basically

Digging: Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Deez
June 30th 2021


8248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you stick red Room on a second time and your heads not nodding you already dead tbf



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