Glass Animals - Dreamland Music Album Reviews

The UK psych-pop band stretches out to embrace hip-hop production and personal biography. It comes across like a guy trying to tell you his life story in a packed Coachella tent.

Glass Animals have achieved an enviable and increasingly unusual form of modern success: They’re both wildly ubiquitous and anonymous. The Oxford band’s streaming numbers can be measured in billions, and they’ve popped up on every late-night show and festival fairground without revealing anything that might immediately distinguish them from, say, Electric Guest or Neon Trees. But Dave Bayley intends to fix that on Dreamland, describing the creation of the band’s third LP on the opening track and later referring to himself as “Wavey Davey.” In place of the sci-fi leanings and character studies of 2016’s How to Be a Human Being, Bayley makes his own humanity the story: a global citizen born to Welsh and Israeli parents, raised in Massachusetts and Texas before moving to the UK at 14, equally transfixed by the reclusive studio geniuses behind Pet Sounds and The Chronic 2001. But Glass Animals albums were never an ideal place to bare one’s soul, and Dreamland comes across like a guy trying to tell you his life story in a packed Coachella tent.
Though it’s as steeped in late-Clinton referentiality as any vaporwave record—witness Glass Animals’ ingenious Windows 98-styled website—Dreamland lives in a near future that will never happen. Less than two months ago, Glass Animals were still set to debut Dreamland at Bonnaroo 2020, the kind of environment that’s been very kind to bands like them: the ones who can filter more distinct variants of indie-leaning hip-hop, pop, and electronic music into a smooth, white caulk filling in the gaps between a Live Nation or Goldenvoice-financed lineup headlined by some permutation of Run the Jewels, Tame Impala, Chance the Rapper, and the Strokes.

Glass Animals have wisely updated their approach by wringing out the more waterlogged psych-pop elements of breakthrough hit “Gooey,” revealing a band more conversant with rap, more American than proudly British nerdlinger polymaths like alt-J and Everything Everything. After putting in behind-the-scenes work with Joey Bada$$, 6lack, and Wale, Bayley flaunts his connections in moments that provide jarring contrast with Glass Animals’ reliably sync-able synth-pop. Denzel Curry brings his fire-breathing energy to a guest verse on “Tokyo Drifting” that sounds beamed in from a completely different festival stage. The inclusion of Top Dawg engineer Derek Ali almost justifies a Dr. Dre namedrop on “Space Ghost Coast to Coast,” though I’m sure Bayley would justify rhyming “big dicks and big ol’ titties on the sly” with “bonafide Aquemini” (from “Waterfalls Coming Out of Your Mouth”) in any case.

For the most part, Dreamland’s use of hip-hop production is less obtrusive and off-putting, taking advantage of a particular memory loophole that causes 2016 to feel more distant than 1999. The rippling, Malibu-scented beat on “Tangerine” is blatant “Hotline Bling” homage, while the gelatinous guitars on “Heat Wave” could be plucked from any number of “wavy hip-hop” sample packs meant to emulate Frank Ocean’s “Ivy” on a bedroom producer’s budget. Two years ago, such sounds would’ve had the foul smell of something just beyond its use-by date. Now, they’re basically public domain.

None of the musical choices really align with Bayley’s attempts at world-building: The lyric sheet is densely packed with references to Scooby-Doo, “The Price Is Right,” Dunkaroos, Capri Sun, Pokémon, kickball, GoldenEye 007, Hot Pockets, Mr. Miyagi, hologram glasses, and Doom, like so many “only ’90s kids will remember this” memes. A more generous take is that Dreamland’s comprehensive survey of late-2010s algorithmic pop is Bayley’s strategy to become a Matty Healy or Frank Ocean-style double agent: a guy whose music frequently soundtracks the boutique-hotel pool parties, VIP pop-up lounges, and upscale clothing stores populated by the targets of his social critique. He chides someone for “posting aerial photos of you and your smoothie,” while confiding that “sometimes B-sides are the best songs,” calling back to more insightful singles by the 1975 and Frank Ocean. Meanwhile, Bayley’s own “too much quinoa and online shopping” feels plucked out of an iPhone 5S note full of manbun and cronut jokes.

Made by people too young to remember a pre-internet society, Dreamland instead indulges in that relatable and ultimately feeble longing for a time where we were just less online and more present in our personal relationships. But what’s the difference between scrolling through your Instagram feed and watching Bayley get lost in his memory bank? His sense of alienation isn’t particularly original or all that contemporary, and worse, Dreamland falls prey to the unfortunate mode of modern branding that conflates personal nostalgia with making a point. Glass Animals want to talk about The Way We Live, when it’s really just Let’s Remember Some Stuff.
View the original article here
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Glass Animals - Dreamland Music Album Reviews Glass Animals - Dreamland Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, August 17, 2020 Rating:

0 comments:

Post a Comment