The record opens with ‘You’, which was also released as a single. It sounds a bit like a CD that got stuck (even though it opens with the obvious sound of a cassette player, but those never got stuck. Well, they did get tapes stuck in them, but we digress). His now almost characteristic use of samples has led him to be compared to the likes of Four Tet and Aphex Twin, though with a slightly more accessible manner. At first there is a slight annoyance directed towards the samples that apparently keep getting stuck, followed by amazement at how songs just seem to flow out of this mechanical malfunction.
Even though the tracks are mostly instrumental, there is still a story to be told here. The lack of words in the songs themselves just puts more meaning in the titles. The storylines suggested in the mid-album tracks ‘Before We Talked’, ‘Marriage’, ‘I’m With You But I’m Lonely’ and ‘After We Talked’ could fill a season of any American soap series (just insert a setting: a) hospital b) police station c) family business) – ‘Snow and Taxis’ would form the title sequence. I’m not suggesting some well chosen song titles could make an album, but it does signify that at least some thought has gone into it. Resulting, in this case, in an album that feels like a unity. Maybe this is the reason why ‘Quitters Raga’ was left out, as although it was definitely the most memorable track of last year’s EPs, it has a different feel than the album tracks.
The album ends as it started: with a song named ‘You’. The same themes return as in the opening track, but this time more evolved, more streamlined. It shows the progression on the album, the way all the songs add up to make this an album that you can both dance to and listen to while you chill on the couch with some friends. ‘Lucky Shiner’ is definitely the most interesting ‘Sound of 2010’ release.
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