Label: Anticon Release date: 02/08/10 Website: Myspace Buy: Amazon As we all know, the widely accepted method for relative success is to release an album and then tour like crazy. Well, Will Wiesenfeld has chosen to subvert this method with Cerulean. Certainly The Fabric —Wiesenfeld’s January 2010 release as [Post-foetus]—was outstanding in its own right, but even its mix of orchestral elements and skittering beats is overshadowed by Wiesenfeld’s first full-length release as Baths. While The Fabric was dismissed, unfairly, as a Postal Service copy, it’s going to be hard for anyone to make similar comments toward Cerulean. Sure, it bears some similarities in tone to Toro y Moi, and sure it’s got the audio fidelity of a Four Tet type, but it doesn’t really sound like either of those bands. The album sounds familiar, but it doesn’t sound tired, and I think that results from the variation of vocal styles(when there are even vocals). From the Passion Pit-isms of ‘You’re My Excuse To Travel’ to the R&B strains of ‘Lovely Bloodflow’, Wiesenfeld keeps each track fresh, but not to the point that the album becomes incoherent. The production is absolutely flawless, and I think therein lies the genius of the album. There are little things that Wiesenfeld here does that are rare among the beatmakers of his ilk and even rare in his previous work. Take, for example, the toy piano intro to ‘You’re My Excuse to Travel’ lends an honest nostalgia to a track—and an album for that matter—so lyrically focused on a deep meaningful longing. Something about those little touches, the little vocal sounds that open ‘Hall’ lend the album a similar feel to what Toro y Moi accomplished in Causers of This . Cerulean as a whole seems to be the slightly cooler, slightly clearer, slightly more realized sister album to Causers of This, and that’s certainly a compliment. Further differentiating Wiesenfeld from his electronic peers, is his focus on lyrics. Despite the fact that the stanza to song ratio sits near 1:1, the lyrics are just brilliant. While the lyrics are overtly sentimental, they never really approach cliché. Something in Wiesenfeld’s voice lends an authenticity to lines like “I will miss you distance aside.” on Rain Smell, it never feels contrived. And then, as if the lyrics weren’t great as a whole, there’s that one stand out line, one that Wiesenfeld uses to define a relationship, but can act as a summation of Cerulean: “And it is always the simplest shit that means the most.” Simple, poignant lyrics and interesting little production tricks transform what was already an outstanding album into one of the most beautiful efforts of 2010 thus far. Photobucket