Review this album
Jan 2, 2014Unlike Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Alexander Cowan's debut album (the self released Blooming Summer) the duo's second album, Untogether, was recorded with the couple (in the romantic sense) producing most of it separately. Standell-Preston recording her half in Canada and Cowan his half in Europe. The resulting music gathered here has a strange lack of centre which produces a dreamlike vibe. Even the techno tracks sound disembodied. Never is there a sense of ennui or tedium on these tracks. For every dub techno moodscape their is a pretty dream pop song.
Untogether is the sound of a couple working apart with the space between filled with a sense of yearning and dissociation. From the giddy love of Blooming Summer to the ghostly detachment of Untogether Blue Hawaii have produced two contrasting albums reflecting contrasting sides of a romantic, musical relationship.… Expand
May 19, 2013The Canadian electronic scene seems to be ever growing. With 2012 seeing major released from Grimes and Crystal Castles, both releasing their third album, Blue Hawaii are in good company. If I had to compare them to either Crystal Castles or Grimes, then it would be the latter, but in truth, they really sit in between. Vocally they have some Halfaxa sounds going on, Grimes’ second album. Musically though, it’s a cleaner mix of both of them, with cut up vocal tracks in some places but overall the album is more contained. The first track feels like a sampler of the album to come, you get a good feel of the overall tone the Blue Hawaii have.
The singing on second track “Try To Be” remind me a little of musical direction Emika is going in her second album, or what I have heard. “Try To Be” is a calm song, it’s very easy listening.
“In Two” carries on the general calm Grimes feel, but feels dancy at the same time yet not as much as “Oblivion” or “Genesis”. “In Two II” doesn’t feel much like it carries on from part I. It seems like the band are gaining their own ground, separating them from their contemporaries by choosing to produce a more relaxed dance electronic sound that settles nicely in your mind. The problem I have is that it doesn’t really go anywhere extreme, it’s always one pleasantry after another, I want to get to the conversation instead of endless “hellos”.
I like the amount of bass they have, it goes well with there sound, but it is subtle and they seem to be working with that. I think some artists have a lack of it, and others really implement the use of bass lines and drones. This makes the music interesting, it adds a different layer and makes me stay to listen to the album through.
Sometimes it reminds me of TOKiMONSTA, but as soon as I think that, it changes. There are very subtle 80′s elements in this album. Slight popcorn sounding synths, and other nostalgic sounds but the band never seem to land on anything concrete other than there base pleasurable calming sound.
Despite the initial prospect and the promise, the album blends and lacks a lot to distinguish itself. It doesn’t capture your attention much, there isn’t really that one song that comes on and you never want it off. Yes, there are some good songs, “Follow”, ”Try To Be” and “Flammarion”
The album is very pleasant and very well spoken like a gentleman, but it lacks, for now, any ambition. It doesn’t take you anywhere exciting, sure it takes you away to a dream world, and it’s good for that. It’s good for a cloud fantasy. But as an album, it just blurs. It doesn’t have enough substance for me to love it. I can just like to listen to it, and appreciate it, but that’s it.… Expand