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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

9.3

Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest

Almost all great albums work because of some form of juxtaposition — light vs. dark, loud vs. soft, desperate vs. confident, whatever it may be. There are great songs everywhere, many people can write great songs. But what I'm talking about here are great albums. The skill and persistence and forethought and countless other intangible talents it takes to put together a great album are something that not many people or groups of people possess. As the track count rises, the ability required to retain a cohesive vision increases exponentially. And the most important aspect of that is maintaining that juxtaposition, that balance between two opposing forces that can so easily fall to one side or the other.

Halcyon Digest balances expertly on a precipice of tension. Below this perch there's an inviting river of pleasure, with a conveniently placed rope ladder back up to the top that allows the listener to make that leap over and over again until their ears are full of water and they're cold and shivering and happy and their mum is calling them back to the camp site for a dinner cooked on an open fire. This constant cycle of build up followed by pay off is at it's core one of the most primal in it's nature. It's human nature. You want something, you get it, you feel happy, you want the next thing. It's the principle on which consumerism is founded. And you can find it everywhere. Especially in the music industry. And as mentioned earlier you can find it in almost all great songs, but to sustain it across an entire album requires super-human abilities — abilities that Bradford Cox and Deerhunter possess.

This is not meant as a cynical deconstruction of the album. In fact, it's probably closer to an uninhibited flagellation — in the erotic sense — of the album by this reviewer. This is an album made so clinically, precisely, scientifically well that it can turn even the most hardened, cynical, cliche-adverse jerk (me) into a pile of goo when listening to it. And there's something to be said for that.

The five minutes of build-up listening to opener Earthquake feels like about 13 years. And those are dog years, so you have to multiply by seven. And then the pay off comes and you're happily bopping along to Don't Cry, but it tapers off at the end so you're left waiting again. And then BOOM, there's Revival and you're once again in mid-air, falling, flailing, in ecstasy between the cliff top and the water. Rinse and repeat for the entire album.

There are plenty of moments that need no build-up and stand on their own as brilliant songs — Desire Lines, Helicopter and Coronado, with it's catchy as fuck piano loop and saxophone(!) outbursts, come to mind. But in the context of the album they're elevated to new heights. Not many bands could make this record, so thank you Deerhunter, for being the ones that did.

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Deerhunter

 

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Comments

h0h0

Polaroids of Pitchfork

1 decade ago

god is dead

owned. seriously though, good record.

1 decade ago

Kevinson

Just purchased this album today...how fucking tremendous is it...I'm talking - I'm gona stick a banana up my arse it is that good.

1 decade ago

Rav

Pft!? Who buys records these days?

1 decade ago

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