Sound — 7
Bouncing psychedelics, kaleidoscopic streaks, and bubbly chimes make up the crux of the Librarians music on their latest CD, Present Passed from Postfact Records. Relatable to the prismatic clusters of The Depreciation Guild and the galactic showers of Hundred Year Storm, the Librarians flex electro-pop's muscles to chill-wave proportions. The glittery specks in the guitar cuts of Ryan Hizer and lead vocalist Trey Curtis create soaring lobes and woozy loops along Marilla Park embroidering a glam-pop frisson. The music is lightweight and kindles soft shimmers as the undulating beats of drummer Billy Parsons and bassist Kyle Vass form chime-like icicles along the bends in the chord progression. The breezy Baroque-pop sweeps of Cranberry Palace share a lounging likeness to The Beach Boys, and the raspy shakers rollicking along Island Jam are assisted by the country twang of the guitars and the aquatic wobbles that tilt the tune at a curve. Curtis displays a husky resonance in his vocals relatable to Leonard Cohen in Polar Opposite, but turns to a comely texture in So What? The laser-like rays thronging Kid Stuff have a malleable snaking that correlates into sonic illusions which change its shape with a whimsical flare. The album is pleasing stacked in glam-pop rustles and loosely bolted beats that sound like the music is a product of the band experimenting with music technologys abilities.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are common place like in So What? with verses that reveal, At night, I can call your name to make everything cool It's like you are always there when I need someone to talk to. Other lyrical themes include providing advice like in Kid Stuff telling, Whatever you do keep your head up / Don't fall down / Whatever you do don't look foolish, stay healthy / Whatever you do spell all the words right, look intelligent / Whatever you do say all the right things. There are also those lyrics that have an edge to them as in Polar Opposite contending, Whenever you talk, I bite my tongue / Whenever you sing, I shut my ears to whatever you sung Whenever you cry, I laugh / I get the happiest feeling when I see you get so mad. The lyrics reflect the Librarians own private world while connecting to the universal human condition.
Overall Impression — 7
The Librarians album Present Passed is soft sounding and comfortable on the senses, but it also lacks a long-term appeal. I ended up cutting off several songs because it seemed like the band was repeating themselves. The music tends to stay within certain parameters which is a big drawback for the album. Present Passed is the Librarians follow up to their debut release, Alright Easy Candy Stranger, but it still shows the band holding back on their creativity and relying more on music technology to do the work.