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Rostam - Changephobia Music Album Reviews

Rostam - Changephobia Music Album Reviews
The producer and songwriter’s second solo album is a romantic exploration of uncertainty, a rush of momentum softened by his trademark sounds.

The ecstatic peak of Changephobia arrives in “4Runner,” an instant addition to the canon of jangly, smeared-pastel pop songs about cars: It feels wrong to listen at any speed under 50 mph. “Take off a shift for me/I’m waiting down the street,” Rostam Batmanglij sings in a conversational tone, the kind of writing and delivery that invokes the magic of the everyday. “Take all the time you want to come, come, come.” It’s a good example of what works about Changephobia, which often wrestles with expression and finding the right words. Even the album title is pitched as a winking take on a “Coexist” bumper sticker: earnest but self-aware, an awkward name for an awkward feeling.

Prior to his 2016 solo debut Half-Light, Rostam introduced himself as a founding member and in-house producer for Vampire Weekend. (He left prior to the release of 2019’s Father of the Bride). He’s now an in-demand producer and songwriter, working on a 2016 joint album with the Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser and earning writing credits for the likes of Clairo and Haim. Some of his production borrows the baroque energy of his old band, but much of his recent work has felt curiously warped, funneling Rostam’s own influences and those of his collaborators down to approachably human scale. “I always felt like the music I made was mine, whether it was part of a collaboration with people,” Rostam told Spin in 2017. “I think the reason is because I care so much, when I work with other artists… I give all of myself to it.”

On Changephobia, that sense of continuity often recalls Rostam’s work on last year’s Haim album, Women in Music Pt. III. Danielle Haim plays drums on “These Kids We Knew,” the sort of porous, guitar-forward jam that the group built their name on. Another Haim collaborator, baritone saxophonist Henry Solomon, returns for the frenetic “Kinney.” Over a drum pattern straight out of a Teklife song, Rostam rushes out the lyrics before arriving at a bittersweet release: “This shouldn’t work, but it does/Didn’t expect to spend the night/But I’m in your arms.” Despite the temporary contentment in his lyrics, Rostam’s trademark blown-out production veers toward clutter, dulling the sensation rather than heightening it.

“Kinney” is a song in constant motion, but Changephobia often evokes the opposite sensation. The album lives somewhere smoggy and sun-baked, finding small respites in moments of overwhelming uncertainty. “Staying at your place/Underneath the bridge/Laying down to sleep/Don’t know what time it is,” Rostam sings in “Unfold You.” Guided by twinkling piano, the words spill out like a sigh of relief. “From the Back of a Cab” tackles a similar subject, tracing an hour-long ride to the airport with a lover. Even as their separation looms, the connection feels sweet and secure.

Breakthroughs like these amount to some of the strongest entries in Rostam’s catalog—songs that locate their intoxicating highs in the restless spontaneity he writes about so frequently. “I want to slow it down,” he sings in the lilting closer “Starlight,” “but I can’t.” Yet even on an album so concerned with fluidity and risk-taking, Rostam mostly stays in his comfort zone. At its best, Changephobia frames the experience of giving in to doubt and ambiguity as a kind of empowerment. Other times, it just feels like giving in.
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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.
Rostam - Changephobia Music Album Reviews Rostam - Changephobia Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, June 11, 2021 Rating: 5

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