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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

7.1

Atlas Sound
Parallax

It's hard to shake the feeling that Bradford Cox's best work still lies ahead of him, especially in respect to his solo Atlas Sound project. Focusing on the unlikely partnership between lonesome morbidity and vibrant pop magic, his work has been consistently bogged down by an off-the-cuff prolificacy, sounding at times as though a bored Cox has just picked up his guitar that morning, letting his thoughts just seep out naturally, like an aborted fetus being gently evicted by Morning After Bill.

His time on Parallax is mostly split between concentrated pop purity and disordered introspective experiments. Consistently referencing both hopeful prospects and despairing regrets with his signature whimpering, the music is left to both set the tone and guide the songs. This is mostly successful, with the relaxed, dream-like flow traveling us down a seemingly endless world of rabbit-holes and moist v-goals. However, on far too many occasions this journey floats into a spiraling world of dark nothingness, with the meandering pointlessness of tracks like Flagstaff and Doldrums unnecessarily destructing the pop consistently and blurring the well laid-out paths created by faultless pop gems like Mona Lisa and Praying Man.

For the most part, the album is defined by these two opposing endpoints — the solitary, dark bedroom whispers and celebratory tales of loading up your winnebago and galavanting down an open highway towards an uninhibited future. The uncomfortable switching between these paradoxes disrupts the record's overall continuity, especially considering the fact there's little attempt made to explore the gaping void that exists in-between. [insert your own vagina joke here]

On top of all this, there's also a distracting tropical mood that fights for attention throughout. Not quite calypso maraca shaking, but more like glittery unnecessary post-production gunk sprinkled around the edges of the minimal compositions.

Like every previous Atlas Sound record, Parallax is a disordered sketch of it's creator's ability. Splashes of sheer brilliance showcase Cox's unquestionable talent, while other songs bring attention to a frustrated artist still nervously attempting to merge the different facets of his sound. Hopefully, the balance is worked out, his naturally prolific approach becomes a tad more focused and/or he gets cracking on another Deerhunter record soon.

Filed Under
Record Reviews
Atlas Sound
Deerhunter

 

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