Saturday, June 14, 2014

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Review: Fractal Mirror - Strange Attractors (2013)


Information:
Artist: Fractal Mirror
Album: Strange Attractors
Release date: Nomber 8, 2013
Label: Self released

Tracklist:

1. What's Inside - 4'24
2. The Fading Ghosts Of Yesterday - 4'31
3. Brian's Song - 5'40
4. Fade Away - 4'47
A Life In Darkness Suite
5. Ending - 2'54 / 6. Insects - 3'30 / 7. Raising The Stakes - 4'21 / 8. Various Methods Of Hunting - 3'44 / 9. Leave Me - 3'10 / 10. The Chair - 4'17
Running time: 41:24

Production details: Recorded at Fractal Studios
Drums recorded at Gradwell House, New Jersey
Mixed and Mastered by Rhys Marsh at Autumnsong Studios, Norway

Packaging details:
Format:
 CD/Digipack
Info: Standard digipack. No booklet.


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Review by Kev Rowland       Rating:

Thoughts:  The debut album from Dutch band Fractal Mirror has been gaining quite a lot of kudos in various quarters, with its combination of laid-back synth laden Prog and Alternative Pop. Some of the keyboard sounds are very dated, and there is so much space in the music that one could drive a truck through it, and it moves from being incredibly complex to sheer simplicity, so it sounds like the just the sort of thing that would have me raving about it to the highest heavens. Well, one might think so. Instead, I find this a very cold album with a simplicity that seems contrived as opposed to naïve, with vocals that I find poor as opposed to emotional.

Yes, there are elements of Psychedelic Furs, New Order and Eels in the vocal approach, but with all of the faults and none of the benefits. But, even putting that to one side there isn't enough happening musically for me to find this consistently interesting and enjoyable. Getting to the end of the album the first time was a trial for me, as opposed to an event that I enjoyed, and playing it again was something that I had to do to so that I could see if the album grew on me as opposed to just reviewing it out of the box.

But no matter how many times I play this, I keep coming back to the fact that I don't think that it is a very good album, no matter what anyone else says. Plenty of other people are saying that this is wonderful, so maybe it is just me (and that won't be the first or last time when I am at odds with everyone else), but I can't see myself ever playing this again.
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Listen to Fractal Mirror on our Podcast #36 HERE.

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