Label: True Panther Release date: 20/09/10 Link: Myspace “What I hoped to build was a portrait of chaos... thus, in the sequence I framed a love song in four outer-lying rings of stability” Cameron Mesirow, aka Glasser, in the notes for The Fold as part of Rough Trade’s album club. To give you a bit of an idea of what you can expect from this album, let’s just have a look at Mesirow’s heritage. Her father plays in the Blue Man Group and her mother was part of Human Sexual Response. I think you get the picture – this album isn’t going to be a simple pop album. Also, look at that quote above – is that from someone who knows their music, or from someone that is slightly deluded and needs to take a step back? (Spoiler – it’s b) What we are given instead is a look at what could have happened to Fever Ray if she was a bit younger and more refined. We keep the same overall sound – the dark but altogether uplifting sounds, but adds to it the sort of simplicity that made the Fever Ray album so annoyingly cold. I didn’t like how everything on the Fever Ray album felt so out of reach, so worthy and great – to me it just felt like Karen Andersson was trying too hard. Here, Mesirow finds the right mix – it’s got the atmosphere, the feel of Fever Ray through it, but it’s relatable and understandable, it’s not wrapped up in layers of pretence. That being said, its simplicity is both its strong point and its weakness. While the songs are ok, they all seem to be lacking that one extra layer that makes a track better than ok. There are songs better than others, sure, but none of them really leap and experiment more than they have to. It’s depressing; here is an album so close to greatness, something so close that all it requires is an extra layer or two each track, or even just an effect, to lift it to something that’s great. A good demonstration of this is “Plane Temp”. The track is great, built up on a repeating synth line, with added percussion, and very good, very simple bass beat, but at no point does it grip you and make you think of it as anything more than an alright song. There’s no extra layer, there’s nothing more than a song that fades in and out of verses and choruses, there’s no change or development. There’s just nothing more than a great, but undeveloped idea. No review of this album can leave the main track, “T” unmentioned. This is the track that Mesirow talks about in the quote at the top, and it is the focal point of the album, and the best song. It’s possibly the only song that is left best the way it is – it’s simple, but has the extra layers of percussion and style, the right rise and falls, the clever chord shifts and changes in the song to make a really good track. This is definitely the best track on the album, but not a track that redeems the whole album – it’s a good focal point, and the only track that’s been developed fully. It’s not a bad album, it’s just half baked at the moment. It’s simple, to its credit, but underdeveloped and under layered as a result. If it stopped so self consciously trying to be art then maybe we would have a fully developed and great album. As it is, it’s a vanity project. Photobucket