Skip to main content

Featured Post

Tado Thermostat V3+ Review

The Tado smart thermostat (V3+) and remote-control app promise to save up to 30% on your heating and energy bills.
Price When Reviewed
$149.99Tado is a German smart-heating thermostat that cleverly uses your location to determine when to turn down your heating while you're away from home, and then turn it back up again as you return.



The Blaze - Dancehall Music Album Reviews

On their debut album, Guillaume and Jonathan Alric make big, staid dance music tailored for main stages at music festivals where subtlety falls victim to the pursuit of big moments.

Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, the cousins behind French duo the Blaze, aim for big themes on Dancehall. The very first sounds you hear are piano chords so rich and full you want to wrap yourself up in them like a very expensive coat. The bass throughout is among the heaviest you’ll hear on any record this year, yet it never sounds ugly or rough. Even at its most forceful, the Blaze’s music never bangs you over the head; it’s enveloping, like a wave.

But their insistence upon capturing great passion works against them. For one thing, there’s not a lot of variation on the album: Virtually every song rolls out a boom-ticking drum machine beat and drapes it in sumptuous synths and pulsing 808 toms; their grooves rarely budge from the syncopated cadence handed down by classic piano-house anthems like “Strings of Life,” filtered through heartstring-tugging bass musicians like James Blake and SBTRKT. And you can make out the outlines of their songwriting from a mile away: First comes the pensive intro; then the drop, and a surging build until the track’s end. This is music tailored for the main stages at music festivals where subtlety falls victim to the pursuit of big moments, where only the punchiest, boomiest, most obviously emotive sounds are accommodated. Even Dancehall’s sonics evoke the sound and feel of the festival experience, with low-end that threatens to overwhelm the bass cabinets and overdriven mids that run together in a kind of ooze.

Also gloopy: the vocals. As they were on Territory, their debut EP, the Blaze’s vocals tend to sound like they’ve been pitched down by 10 or 15 percent—not enough to make them sound like Salem or DJ Screw, but just enough that they don’t quite sound natural, either. Who knows why they keep doing this. Perhaps they simply like the way it tends to thicken the sound of their voices, like a dark liqueur chilled toward the freezing point—it’s a deeply embodied sound, suggestive of throats and lumps in throats. Perhaps they’re compensating for their weaknesses as singers, in which case, not a bad idea: They can indeed be pretty pitchy. On “She,” an untreated near-falsetto recalls Robert Smith’s quavering wail, but where the Cure frontman’s yelp feels like an essential part of his band’s desperate, unhinged mien, the curdled sound of “She” just sounds cartoonish.

It doesn’t help that their attempt to capture big emotions too often verges on caricature. From “Breath”: “You’re my reason/In this wonderful life/A super weapon/For stopping the fight.” Do I need to tell you that they go on to get “sight” and “light” in there? Elsewhere, “Trust in me” is rhymed with “Set me free”; “Crazy and insane” finds its match in “Forgetting the pain.” It’s all a bit much, especially when combined with such rafter-shaking, breast-beating grooves. At the same time, it’s nothing at all: a placeholder for a sentiment with any actually meaningful resonance. Coming up with something to say would do more to rescue their vocals than the most CPU-intensive pitch-correction software.

What’s frustrating is that the Alrics have proven themselves to be talented filmmakers. With their eyes trained on young French people of color, they specialize in moody treatments of youthful passions, star-crossed lovers, communities thriving as the world breaks down. Their skill lies in sketching out a certain provocative ambiguity: What kind of couple is this? What is their history? Is this a story of love or anger? And, most importantly, what kinds of truths can be expressed without words? It’s a shame that their music doesn’t capture anything near that level of nuance. Too often, it’s a simulacrum of passion: feel-good house music as daily affirmation. Unlike the broad scope of their videos, their songs feel squashed, like an inspirational message made for Instagram’s tiny window.

View the original article here


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Moto Z4 Play Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We investigate rumours surrounding the Moto Z4 Play, which could be announced in June 2019 with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Announced in June 2018, the Moto Z3 Play was never joined in the UK by the standard Moto Z3. It's possible that for the Z4 series we will again see only the Play model go on sale here, with the Moto Z4 Play expected to be announced in the UK in mid-2019.

Dell XPS 13 (2019) vs Dell XPS 13 (2018)

Can Dell make its XPS 13 laptop any better? Well it's tried with a new 2019 model so we compare the two and explain what has and hasn't changed.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 9370 (2018) Or Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
There’s a new XPS 13 in town but you’ll struggle to justify the upgrade from 2018’s model with namely a new webcam as a headline upgrade.
Sure, there are other upgrades to the the core specs but for most people, these will be fairly insignificant. The inclusion of a cheaper Core i3 model is particularly interesting.

Huawei P Smart 2019 Review

Huawei has updated its budget Android phone for 2019. It’s faster and better than before, but should you buy it? Read our review to find out.
Should I Buy The Huawei P Smart 2019?
The P Smart 2019 is a great upgrade from the 2018 model with a bigger screen and better performance. However, as with the original P Smart, Honor's version is better value.

Like Fan Page