Sound — 9
Man, this album is for real. Some really cool songs and crazy guitar tones. Been looking for a complex, soulful pop record for some time, and gotta tell ya it's not easy to find anything like this. Although I'm not at all an electronic music guy, the "glitchy" sounds and programmed drums didn't bother me at all here, perhaps because of the constant rock 'n' roll atmosphere.
Vocals play a huge part on making this sound like a Bowie record rather than a radio friendly, Coldplay-esque depressive album. Hats off to the psychotic, Hendrix influenced guitar screams too. Only downside here is the lack of a follow up to the gorgeous first track, "Thing," that is the only upbeat song on this album. Be prepared for getting emotional, remembering your old college GFs and stuff like that.
Lyrics — 9
I wanted to dig deeper in the lyrics than the other reviewer did, cause I though it unfair to judge this on the subjectivity and "nonsense" that Gabriel Amaral constantly uses. So, for the first track, what I got was a dreamy and misanthropic complaint about life, and is probably the most provocative lyric in "River Rain Scent." Second, third and fourth tracks are obviously about unrequited love, longing and unsuccessful relationships, all of them nicely written and pretty much about things people actually experience kinda daily.
Here things starts getting weirder, with tracks 5 and 6 making no sense at all after a couple of reads. Maybe a dream reference, troubled love or global warming related protest, anyways, both have interesting words. Track 7 is obviously about saving whales, but well, it sounds rather funny than serious about the matter, but since it's a pretty melancholic song, we end up taking it seriously.
Track 8, due to the artist's young age, might stand for a growing up and teenage crisis, cool lyrics here too, made me feel young again. Track 9 is a traditional old school psychedelic, raga rock lyrics that sound like oriental Beatles influence. Track 10 is the only one that got me feeling "disturbed," as stated by the other reviewer. Such dense, dark lyrics that don't exactly feel as the most recommended album closer (lyric wise only), especially to an overall sad, anxious, depressive album. Count on this suicidal, claustrophobic prose to haunt you for some time. For real.
In the end, the lyrics are nice and probably will be well seen on the long term.
Overall Impression — 9
Totally recommended if you are into Beatles, Coldplay, Bowie, Nine Inch Nails or related artists. Just don't forget to be open about hearing influences from stuff you might not like. Sounds perfect in a cold winter day with some amber fluid, when a lass breaks your heart and you want to hear something to lament to.
Looking forward to learning some of these songs on acoustic and tabbing for you guys, some cool chord changes with weird voicings are abundant on this 10-tracker. Also, this is a good starting point for understanding using guitar pedals for electronic effects, just in case Radiohead and Muse got too easy for your ears.
One of the best indie albums I've heard in a while by an unsigned musician.