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The all-inclusive, ever-changing, and uncomfortably flexible guide to all things music in the 2010's.

Friday, July 23, 2010

School of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire: B+

I wouldn't expect more than just an enjoyable listening experience with Disconnect From Desire. School of Seven Bells play a kind of ethereal pop that can either keep you smiling or get you really annoyed. Thankfully, they never get very close to the latter, as there is always something to keep your interest amidst all of the fuzz and cooing. "Windstorm" is a clear highlight, its choir-like chorus making an immediate case for the album. And the rest either plays off a catchy riff ("Camarilla", "Dust Devil") or just plays off a confidence you are actually convinced of (Spoon take heed).

For an album so musically winsome, singer Alejandra Deheza's lyrics are surprisingly bleak and lovelorn. "You don't have to be cruel," she sings among perfect harmonies on "Dust Devil". "But time has a heart for cruelty". In "I L U", Alejandra states her emotions most explicitly. Its unique phrasing allows her say "Looking into your eyes for a sign that maybe you feel the same," without any obvious feeling of caesura in addition to this key detail: "But you don't". It's moments like those that give Disconnect From Desire more depth than one who just listens to the music would give them credit for.

I wouldn't take my rating for Disconnect From Desire too seriously, because, over the time I listened to it, my rating increased significantly, so it may be greater as the year goes on. I would suggest giving this album a listen, simply because it may grow on you as it did for me. The first half of 2010 has yielded some pretty amazing music, so calling this one slightly above average in comparison is more of a compliment than you'd think.


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