Album Review

Halfnoise - Motif

An altogether curious record which lets the world rest assured that, in spite of everything, at least Zac is having a happy time.

Halfnoise - Motif

In what couldn’t be further removed from the glammed-up psych-garage of 2019’s ‘Natural Disguise’, Paramore drummer Zac Farro AKA Halfnoise flexes yoghurty soft-rock muscles on ‘Motif’, his fourth LP under the moniker. Soundtracking his romance with partner and collaborator Kayla Graninger (who herself releases Zac-produced music under the moniker Elke), each of the record’s eleven lovey-dovey tracks celebrates the progression of their relationship from bud to bloom. With an idyllic string section or salacious saxophone solo never far away, much of the record pays homage to the legends of smooth ’70s pop: ‘Superstition’ jives to a squelchy, Stevie Wonder-ish funk; the cool bossanova shuffle of ‘I Think I’ve Fallen For You’ indulges in glowing Bee Gees schmaltz, with much of the record merrily skipping along with a gooyness pooled from the McCartney-E.L.O school of heart-flustering pop. In the sparser, piano-driven ballads (‘That’s Just Why’, ‘Right On Time’), fans of more contemporary ivory-tinkling balladeers such as Matt Maltese will too find much to savour. Lead-single ‘Two of Us’ - a jubilant disco strut - is the freshest cut of the lot, a rare moment where the record transcends its influences rather than bowing down to them. With that being said, ‘Motif’ is an altogether curious record which lets the world rest assured that, in spite of everything, at least Zac is having a happy time.

Tags: HalfNoise, Reviews, Album Reviews

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