Soft Blue Shimmer
Love Lives in the Body


4.0
excellent

Review

by Arpoovian Shebber-Shenty, Life Giver Of The Universe CONTRIBUTOR (84 Reviews)
November 20th, 2022 | 29 replies


Release Date: 11/18/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Am I misinterpreting the light you spill in me?

The Corey Coffman musical universe is growing at an alarming rate, and all we can do is gaze longingly into the ethereal abyss overtaking the sonic landscape. Many are familiar with his flagship project Gleemer and their towering influence on today’s shoegaze/emo crossover scene, but his work as a producer and mixing/mastering engineer is arguably even more impressive; the catalog he has compiled in 2022 alone is both prolific and remarkable. From his own band’s flawlessly engineered EP Here At All to Bedlocked’s enchanting self-titled debut LP, the man has been on a creative hot streak that shows no signs of cooling down any time soon, and Soft Blue Shimmer’s Love Lives In The Body serves as another exhibit of his aural brilliance.

From the moment Meredith Ramond’s reverb-soaked vocals cast a Lynchian glow over opener “First Breath Back”, it’s clear that the San Fernando Valley trio and Coffman are a match made in heaven. Not even the best producer in the world can make a subpar band sound transcendent, and the magnificent performances of Ramond, guitarist Charlie Crowley, and drummer Kenzo Cardenas allow Coffman to make the group’s output absolutely otherworldly at times. Early album highlights “Prism of Feeling” and “Cloudless” cast angelic lead lines over powerfully cutting drums and a healthy low end, while the energy level suddenly skyrockets on “9090” via Cardenas’s most animated performance, some welcome vocal interplay between Ramond and Crowley, and oceanic distortion. Love Lives In The Body thrives when it dares to ratchet up the tempo, like on “9090” or the gorgeous “Strawberry Cool”, which juxtaposes its propulsive energy with dazzling half-time sections and a heavenly breakdown of a bridge. Whether Soft Blue Shimmer set out to attack or soothe, the entirety of the album is commendably atmospheric, a fact made possible in equal part by Coffman’s production, Crowley’s titanic guitar tones, and Ramond’s celestial vocal harmonies.

Unfortunately, there are small pockets of the record in which the gloss of the production can only carry the songs so far; the one-two punch of “Burden of Desire” and “Memory/Fantasy” comes to mind, two midtempo mezzo forte slogs that feel less like a soft blue shimmer and more like a faint blue blur. Given the homogeneity of the majority of the tracklist, the aforementioned uptempo numbers and later album highlight “Love Being” are welcome changes of pace, but they also make tracks like “Guayaba” feel much more disappointing by comparison. “Guayaba” isn’t necessarily bad so much as it feels like an unfinished demo track, consisting of an ambient buildup, a steadily crescendoing verse, and a disheartening dissipation back into nothing after 2 short, anticlimactic minutes. The hazy warmth of Love Lives In The Body’s production elevates the quality of every track, but it can’t disguise the weaknesses of an arrangement.

Thankfully, these weaknesses are few and very far in between throughout the record, and Soft Blue Shimmer and Coffman have collaborated to deliver us one of 2022’s premier nügaze releases. From Ramond’s initial sharp inhale to the crushing and encircling feedback that closes “End & Affection”, Love Lives In The Body is an engrossing affair that is sonically spotless, instrumentally engaging, and occasionally truly brilliant. The future is certainly bright for Soft Blue Shimmer, and Coffman clearly knows how to bring the best out of them, so I eagerly look forward to whatever they team up to create next.



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user ratings (21)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
November 20th 2022


17488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Finally wrote a review



Thanks to Jesper for the rec

Bilbodabag
November 21st 2022


130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

congrats on ur first review

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2022


17488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you man with chicken sandwich

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2022


4444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Sounds like I gotta check this.



Nice review YoYo!

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2022


4859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great first review, this corey coffin guy sounds cool!

Asura14
November 21st 2022


488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

looking forward to this, nice review!

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
November 21st 2022


4859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

memory / fantasy might be my fav here (fuck u for being mean to it in the rev), it's so damn cutee

TheTripP
November 21st 2022


4257 Comments


Sounds lovely, will check, great review

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
November 21st 2022


17488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks brothas

Bilbodabag
November 21st 2022


130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmmmm that's some reverb alright

Laen
November 22nd 2022


837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Memory / Fantasy is on another level in terms of shoe, love that song. Really love the production on this record, you can hear all the layers and its crisp.

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2022


17488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Reverb shenanigans all over. Also damn, didn't realize how many people love Memory/Fantasy, definitely not one of my favorites. I feel like Prism of Feeling does everything that song does much better

Asura14
November 22nd 2022


488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Memory / Fantasy is also one of my least favourites, but I guess that speaks to a stylistic preference



anyway, the album is as good as expected. Reminds me a little of the Roseville EP from last year but as a much more solid release

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2022


17488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would really love another Roseville full length. Their EP is way better than their album imo

BigTuna
November 22nd 2022


5830 Comments


Wow this does sound immaculate

Voltimand
November 23rd 2022


1574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Do likes me some new shoe, and this brings everything plus the laces

MoM
November 23rd 2022


1022 Comments


I remember when I still wore shoes. Now I just wear laces.

loveisamixtape
November 23rd 2022


11833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hell yea still gotta check this

TooManyFriends
November 23rd 2022


3474 Comments


what's with the guayaba slander. is it not enough for a song to calmly float in, provide two of the most beautiful minutes of music you've ever heard, and calmly float back out

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
November 23rd 2022


4859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

guayaba is cool but might've worked better if it were part outro/intro to prism and cloudless respectively

memory/fantasy is still the most delightful thing ever





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