Review Summary: Love, Tranquility
A few years ago, amidst the chaos of the world, Love, Disorderly
was a defining record. With its abrasive, upfront songwriting and vague and almost disjointed lyricism, Thomas Azier made an album that embodied the feeling of the world. Now, with The Inventory Of Our Desire
, Azier’s musicianship no longer feels as urgent or overwhelming. Its lush atmospheres mixed with slow melodic progressions don’t embody a particular feeling, but rather seem to be a meditation. Whereas Love, Disorderly
was capturing the emotion, The Inventory Of Our Desir
reflects on it in its dreamy soundscape. Where there was once disorder, one can find peace.
The Inventory Of Our Desire
is both airy and ethereal, giving the music room to breathe and flow. Without the exuberance of Love, Disorderly
, the subdued instrumentation focuses more on melody than intensity. A perfect example of this lies in the beautifully composed “What Does It Mean To Be Free,” as the piano, drums, and saxophone cohesively play off each other, creating an entrancing sound of dreamy melody. This balance of musicianship is displayed throughout the record, with each instrument playing their role for the whole picture rather than individual effort. The jazzy passages of “Invisible” and “Only The Ocean” progress smoothly with subdued melodies that only infectiously grow as the tracks carry on. “Skin & Blister” and “Pelechian”’s simplistic grooves and catchy, subtle harmonies conveyed within the instrumentation provide a more energetic, yet still mellow, performance. Across each track, Azier’s hushed vocals add to the airiness of The Inventory Of Our Desire
as his voice floats over the beautifully structured compositions. His soft crooning on “Faces” combined with the reverb and effects gives a lucid feel to the music, while his sporadic vocal lines and quieter “shouts” on “Blue Eyed Baby” embody the freely meditative emotion of the record.
Although much of The Inventory Of Our Desire
embraces this tranquil change from its predecessor, it hasn’t entirely abandoned the chaotic undertones within the music. Although not nearly as prevalent, the subtleties of restrained intensity feel like a disturbance in the meditative state. The eruption of “Slow Revolution” as Azier belts “She’s got a heart of foam” harkens back to the abrasive style, a break in the calmness of the surrounding instrumentation feeling like a burst of tension within the record. The operatic vocals with the symphony in “Dada Talk On Hell Island,” though beautiful, give a slightly eerie tonality to it when mixed with the underlying pulsating saxophone rhythm. With its darker synths and odd vocal effects, “Donder” stands out as an anomaly within The Inventory Of Our Desire
as it embraces a simple yet haunting composition. Yet, even with all these nuances that seem to break away from the tranquility of the record, they are all the more effective in setting the true tone of Azier’s vision. These darker moments, although rare, give a sense of realism to the meditation of The Inventory Of Our Desire
At first glance, these lush melodies and ethereal atmospheres are nothing more than just a beautiful listen that smoothly runs over you. Yet, with each listen, these moments embed themselves within you, becoming more infectious and memorable. Azier’s smoothness with the lucid instrumentation brings a flood of tranquility that sticks. The Inventory Of Our Desire
is a reflection of peace; a reflection that deserves to be meditated upon over and over again.