Saturn Over Sunset Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critic Reviews What's this?

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  • Summary: The debut full-length release for the California duo of Ari Balouzian and Juliana Giraffe was co-produced with Alex Izenberg.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Nov 20, 2017
    80
    Saturn Over Sunset is imperfect and timeless nonetheless.
  2. Sep 18, 2017
    80
    Highly stylized but memorable for both its unusual palette and what are ultimately consistently good songs (for outright earworms, don't miss "Blue Cigar" and "Daddy Long Legs"), Saturn Over Sunset is recommended for anyone intrigued by the idea of retrofuturist anti-pop.
  3. Sep 18, 2017
    80
    Though thoroughly steeped in the ‘60s and ‘70s music that influences them, Midnight Sister’s sound is indeed now--a timeless effort for the duo’s first time together.
  4. Sep 21, 2017
    70
    As far as experimental debuts go, Saturn Over Sunset is an experiment worth repeating.
  5. Sep 18, 2017
    69
    After traveling through 13 tracks, unaware of how much time has passed or all the strange places in your mind you’ve traveled to, arriving at “Their Eyes” does have a very similar feeling to stepping out into the sunlight after the dark cocoon of the movie theatre--a little unsure of what you’ve just seen.
  6. 65
    The arty fusion of cabaret, baroque and psychedelia somehow places it between Beach House and more recent Fleet Foxes, but does not always make for the easiest of listening.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 23, 2017
    10
    It's like a '60s movie soundtrack with unbelievably arresting, timeless vocals, garnished with furious flashes of more modern genres here andIt's like a '60s movie soundtrack with unbelievably arresting, timeless vocals, garnished with furious flashes of more modern genres here and there, from disco, to pop, and beyond.

    For instance: Bernard Herrmann-esque strings screech and flutter in the background on "The Crow" when a thundering, distorted NiN sledgehammer smacks you upside the head, dragging the tempo into delicious muddy waters, before leaping back into the Hitchcockian soundscape.

    The ethereal opener "Canary" seems yanked straight from Rosemary's Baby, when a Jazzy drum frenzy breaks things right down, again fracturing the song in a jarring yet almost monumental way, like a submarine surfacing by your eardrums. The dreamy, androgynous vocals keep things from ever feeling out of control, however, which is true for most of the album. Her vocals are the breadcrumb trail back to reality, reminding you that a motherly narrator out of time is guiding you through your dark musical journey.

    It has my favourite song in maybe seven years on it, "Daddy Long Legs." It makes you nostalgic for something you can't put your finger on, and never fails to put a smile on my face with its Bewitched-style percussion and jangle piano.

    "Shimmy" is another classic-sounding gem, tricking you with old-timey piano complete with authentic hiss, before catapulting you onto a '70s dance floor with blissful, bouncy bass-lines and a soaring vocal, then finally bringing the two together in a marriage you never imagined would succeed.

    The beautiful album closer arrives, no differently than the end of a tense horror classic, drifting into a dreamy state of calm, but picking up pace as it shifts over to the curtain call, saying goodbye to the listener with a smile and a bow.

    It's a stunning piece of work, masterfully done, and rough in the very best ways. My favourite album in a long, long time.
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