Yeasayer “Fragrant World” Rating: 3.5/5
Let me preface this review by saying that this album is probably not for everyone. However, if you like music with distorted vocals and layers of surreal effects, “Fragrant World” may suit you quite well.
This 11-track album covers a lot of ground, spanning from dream-sequence style music “Henrietta” to new wave reminiscent melodies “Blue Paper” to hip hop tempos “The Devil and The Deed.” It definitely stands on its own.
I personally enjoy the innovative style of music that Yeasayer created with “Fragrant World.” However, the album faces a very common problem: inconsistency.
Though the album stands as a whole, and all of the pieces fit, some of the pieces are just more appealing than others.
Tracks such as “Damaged Goods” and “Folk Hero Schtick” (both toward the end of the album) just don’t seem to work in the way that many of the other tracks do.
With that being said, there is more than enough appeal to “Fragrant World” to satisfy most listeners. If you can overlook the minor flaws, I think you’ll be in for a treat.
Circa Survive “Violent Waves” Rating: 4.5/5
I’m just going to get right down to it: “Violent Waves” is probably one of the best albums I’ve listened to this year.
Circa Survive self-released the album, which, having no record label to deal with, gave the band complete creative control. This dynamic definitely worked in their favor.
Although traces of past albums can be found throughout “Violent Waves,” I believe that its newest release is its most solid through and through.
The album has 11 massively expansive songs that account for about 55 minutes of music. The average of five minutes a song almost ensures that there is going to be some amount of complexity or depth to the arrangement of the music. I must say, it does not let down.
The album starts and ends with enthralling seven-minute tracks (“Birth of The Economic Hit Man” and “I’ll Find A Way”). “The Lottery” is a standout track that, with edgy guitar, innovative song structure and powerful vocals, will likely encourage multiple listens. Acoustic venture, “Think Of Me When They Sound,” on the other hand, is a much more relaxed song, perfect for a rainy night.
The best way to experience “Violent Waves” is simply to listen to the album from beginning to end – no intermissions, no distractions. Even though each track is sculpted well enough to stand on its own, it’s just that much better when viewed as part of a collective whole.
Circa Survive has quite possibly set the standard for new progressive rock with this one.