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Switching their style from murky psychedelic, reverb rock to slinky R&B might prove to be a divisive move for Brooklyn band TEEN. Cutting out the dark heart of their previous work and replacing it with a pulsing, throbbing blissed-out vibe may see lovers of their old material set of in search for their space-rock fix someplace else. However, TEEN's change in style has thankfully coincided with, not simply a polishing of their sound, but an increased sonic ambition. On The Way And Color, TEEN are making a bold and brash statement, that they have finally found their sound, found their voice, and found themselves, but at what cost?

Grooves interlock, melodies overlap, and songs spiral from sharp and clean minimalism into adventurous, kitchen-sink outros, but The Way And Color never once feels cluttered. The outlines are bold and clearly defined, Teeny Lieberson's voice more prominent than ever, this album has pop music at its very core, surrounded by a menagerie of complex ideas and stylish aesthetics. Opener 'Rose 4 U' presents one of many occasions in which TEEN bridge the style of their old and new sound; driving percussion, swirling psychedelic guitars, overlapping crystal clear, restless vocals and wonky synth stabs.

Despite the albums reflective exterior, the heart of The Way And Color is a dark, fleshy matter. 'Not For Long' may be full of sassy swagger, but the crux of the track deals with vanity, distrust and apprehension. Similarly, the blissful, celebratory mood of 'Tied Up Tied Down' is underpinned with lyrics referring to suffocation and an overall anxiety of unfulfilled potential. The album is littered with these bittersweet moments, as if stumbling upon a beautiful, secluded beach, only to find yourself becoming engulfed by sinking sand.

'Breath Low & Deep' sees TEEN stick to the now familiar formula of an intricate yet sparse opening, working towards a spaced out middle section, followed by a helter-skelter ending, but the added brass and distorted guitars, shows just the right amount of a progression through experimentation. Structurally, the songs follow similar patterns, only on 'Toi Toi Toi' do they really allow themselves to hit there ground running, but the rhythm section helps keep this fabric fresh through unexpected shifting tempos, and tending not to return to any previous sequences or codas.

The Way And Color is full of sensual delight as well as nervous tension. Defiant and brave, the songs deal with personal anxiety and glosses over them with sharp, bright colours of wonder and ecstasy. With these particular hues and tones, TEEN could have delivered the perfect, blissed-out-on-the-beach summer album, but haven't quite managed (or even particularly aimed) to write that one or two songs which would elevate this album for good to great. As far as progression goes, The Way And Color is an admirable, solid effort, surely paving the way for better material on the not so distant, sunset dripping, horizon.

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