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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

6.8

The Townhouses
Diaspora

Islands, the debut full length release from Leigh "Townhouses" Hannah, was an interesting control-c/control-v collage of aborted megabytes, yet the actual level of engagement was smaller than the minuscule half-an-idea blips and blaps contained within and/or Molly Meldrum's controversial 2004/2005 mankini. Speaking of revealing too much, Diaspora is a much more "human album" than it's predecessor. Hard to do, especially when the creator is a robotic logic-driven machine. Long draaaaawn out pauses, joyous little yelps of saxophone and even the occasional freestyle drum solo. They all help us get there, but the real humanness is left to the actual living/breathing humans themselves, with the standout moments on Diaspora coming from vocalists Guerre, Rainbow Chan, Giorgio Tuma and Felix Weatherbourne, all of which help to soulfully articulate what Hannah is unable to do because there's no word for "love" in binary. From these, Weatherbourne takes first prize, with his brain glue hook "based on something I saw on TV" guaranteed to cash a fair few cheques in your memory bank for the next few weeks/years.

These vocal-assisted tracks are cleverly sprinkled across the album, defaulting them to being the significant milestones. The difference between the overall quality and enjoyment of these tracks and the remaining instrumentals only further weakens the case of the vocal-less compositions, downgrading them to the role of simply creating an adequate border of distinction between each of the soulful inclusions. Hannah, while obviously immensely talented, still lacks enough control to make this journey something we want to commit to. Diaspora is a coolish breeze of relaxology, a mediative splash of warmth and a melding of interestingly contrasted textures, but rarely unhinged or explorative. This album comes and goes from our world without any significant impact, frustratingly so. And while this is a huge leap forward from his debut in regards to completeness and structure, his musical style this lacks a certain element of engagement and intrigue. Unlike the aforementioned patches of hair poking out from under Molly's summer attire.

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The Townhouses

 

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