ALBUM OF THE WEEK - Music Diet week 25
Stephen Steinbrink - Arranged Waves
I realize this is cheating, as Steinbrink’s album came out a week ago, but I feel there’s already plenty said about Slow Club and Jungle, and besides, this album just simply stood out. Quality goes above anything, at all times.
Enough of that. This album contains such a crisp beauty that it’s hard to capture it in any other words. From the very first note, ‘Arranged Waves’ is set on pulling you into its ‘sea’ of intricate, meandering melodies. The first three songs succeed in doing just that, only to throw you for a loop with the slow-moving, wobbly, synth-heavy ‘A Simple Armature Of Your Ideal World’.
With the next track, ‘Synesthetic Ephemera’, I couldn’t help but be reminded of The Shins. Still, there’s something about the airy guitar riff that I can’t quite imagine James Mercer pulling off. Again, there’s synths interspersing, but never on any of the tracks does it interrupt. It’s entirely and effortlessly integrated into the fibres of these songs.
'It's So Pretty (What You Did For Me)' will, for a split second, make you believe you're listening to another 'L'Amour', the production is so believably scruffy and authentic. 'It Takes A Lot To Change A Mind' and 'Sand Mandalas' are both, in their own way, delicate slices of Americana. Possibly Steinbrink main accomplishment is how this album carefully explores quite a few different musical ideas without wandering off too much. Lyrically there's little chance to get emotionally invested; observations and ponderings aplenty, but it's ultimately the music that sweeps you away.