The Traveler – Album Review

Artist: Jason Fahl

Album: The Traveler

Label: N/A

Release Date: April 21, 2015

Vibes, vibes, vibes! Chico State’s very own Jason Fahl comes through with them deep meditation vibes in his latest installment called “The Traveler LP”. An interesting concept right off the bat, all the tracks are named in Japanese and come with English translations. From the first to the last track it is a rollercoaster ride taking you through the greatest of heights and the deepest of depta2745790440_10hs.

The style is distinctly Fahl’s with hints of UK 2-step drums, deep synthesizers, and the occasional sample. The whole LP is strictly instrumental, but there is never a lack of appeal while listening to this project. The first track contains lovely vocals humming a melody, which quickly highlights the versatility Jason Fahl is capable of. Then the next track comes in with a koto and the one after that with a harp, which further adds to the aesthetic of “The Traveler”.

Never quite the same, but still equally soothing, “The Traveler” is a must add to any deep mediation/chill vibes playlist. If I were to take a guess, I would say Jason Fahl named this LP “The Traveler” because it takes you to another state, another planet, and at times even another realm.

Review by Jose Gonzalez

Read More

iii – Album Review

Artists: Miike Snow

Album: iii

Label: Downtown, Atlantic

Release Date: March 4th, 2016

Miike Snow returns from a three year absence with their latest electronic pop project, iii. The album consists of upbeat funk rhythms, electronic synths and melodic vocals provided by Andrew Wyatt. The production group known as Bloodyshy & Avant have teamed up once again with Wyatt to create that radio electronic indie that Miike Snow has been known for. With singles such as “Genghis Khan” and “The Heart of Me”, the group produces catchy hooks that are radio friendly and ready to get your body moving.

The project starts of with the upbeat, feel-good track, “My Trigger”. Catchy vocal motifs support a pop atmosphere vibe that Miike Snow is known for. The following mainstream track “Heart of Me” focuses more on the distorted supporting guitars and the hook of the track is an instrumental motif rather than vocals and lyrics. “Genghis Khan”, which is a single off the project, is deeper than the previous two tracks. Honest lyrics in the hook portray the mood of the single, I get a little bit Geneghis Khan/Don’t want you to get it on with anyone else but me”. Tempo slows down on the track “Heart is Full” bringing a hip-hop vibe with heavy drums and sampled brass melodies carrying the melody. Wyatt sings in a lower tone, which is different than his style when looked at the previous three tracks on the project. Charli XCX is featured on the breakbeat miike-snow-iii-new-album-2016electronic vibe of “For U”. Distorted, lo-fi effects on Charli’s voice help keep the “Miike Snow vocal style,” which can be noted in most tracks. Miike Snow slows things down with the thought-wandering track “I Feel the Weight”. Wyatts vocals have a heavy use of autotune and vocoders to create a slow motion type vibe on the track. This is definitely a song that is easy to get lost in. The energy is brought back by a staccato piano rhythm on “Back of the Car”. Drums dont come intro the track until about halfway through, adding a more dramatic feel. A steady drum beat and a smooth funky bassline hold together the track “Lonely Life”. The hook is a short tag phrase of, It’s a lonely, lonely, lonely, life. This track stands with Miike Snow’s objective of writing catchy hooks; not complicated, and easy to remember. A guitar with heavy distortion and fuzz effects bring in the track “Over and Over”. Wyatt comes in with vocals similar to a snake trying to seduce your eardrums, definitely stands out compared the other pop songs on the project. “Longshot (7 Nights)” incorporates a string orchestra with an eastern sound, something you would hear at a traditional Chinese celebration. Vocals are also the most “natural” on this track, with less use of vocoders and autotune. Brass sections come in as support following the main string motif. A mellow track that takes you away from the electro pop sound on the rest of the project. The last track on the album is  a 2nd version of “Heart is Full” that features a rapped verse from the artist Run The Jewels. This version really brings to the light how much of a hip-hop track this is and how easily a rapper’s verse can be put on it.

Overall this 11 track album includes funky basslines, electronic vocals, backbone piano melodies, airy ambient sounds and built drum kits. A great album to listen to driving around town or spending time cleaning up the house. iii is definitely a must if you are a Miike Snow fan, or if you are interested in amazingly catchy choruses and hooks you can sing along to.
Review by: Joseph Wiggins

Read More

The Seeker – Album Review

Artist: Cloud Cult

Album: The Seeker

Label: Planetary

Release Date: February 10, 2016


Cloud Cult’s latest album “The Seeker“ represents a coming of age reflection on the human condition. It speaks directly to the part of the heart that is most feeble. It acknowledges many of our subconscious thoughts, and reassures us that it is okay to be human.

Cloud Cult’s message is effectively transmitted with lyrics along the lines of, “If ever I can’t see the magic around me, please take my hands off my eyes.” There is a strong emphasis on the simple beauty of what is already in front of us, here and now. There are subtle sounds of nature’s ambience sprinkled throughout some songs, hinting at the simple beauty of life. Along with airy vocals and acoustic strings, the album’s sound is very wholesome and organic.

Overall, Cloud Cult’s album is as great for the ears as it is for the heart, mind and soul. It is a well balanced album which gives off a subtle yet epic feeling. It is soothing and inspirational, uplifting and relaxing, and mellow and deep. This is definitely an album for the open-minded individual seeking further insight to life’s riddles.
Review by Jose Gonzalez

Read More