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Is there anything Robert Alfons can't do? On Trust's debut album TRST, released in 2012, we were captivated by his amazing vocal range: from a sultry low register to high-pitched feminine crooning. Those of us lucky enough to catch the band live witnessed his ability to entrance the crowd with his nimble jumping and dark synthpop.

On the Toronto artist's second album Joyland, we get a taste of Alfons without his partner Maya Postepski, who left Trust to focus on the band Austra. What emerges is a somewhat brighter album -- albeit within the confines of Alfons' gothic tendencies. Where TRST was the twilight of an ecstasy comedown at a slimy club, Joyland is the triumphant high.

The track opens with the atmospheric waves on 'Slightly Floating', where Alfons' low to high octave verses slowly elevate the listener to the rapture of 'Geryon'. The track's racing techno synths perhaps best demonstrate the album's biggest departure from TRST. On the band's debut, simple melodic hooks often took a backseat to Alfons' brooding vocals, whereas on Joyland we experience more fleshed out production.

The album's highlight -- to continue with the drug metaphor, perhaps the peak in the listener's trip -- is the fourth track, 'Capitol'. The soaring piano chorus pushes Alfons to new heights, providing a unique moment of euphoric clarity unlike anything in their repertoire. The upbeat title track 'Joyland' is dreamy and uplifting, once again affirming Alfons' ability to sing at an impressively high octave. But it pales in comparison to the reverie of 'Capitol'.

Arts & Crafts released a statement describing Joyland as "an eruption of guts, eels and joy." As we approach the second half of the album, 'Are We Arc?' provides an emotional bridge -- or arc -- between joy and what we suspect the "eruption of guts, eels" part might sound like. Fans of Trust's creepy, murkier sound on their debut will find smoother sailing starting with 'Icabod'. The next few tracks, including the album's first single 'Rescue, Mister', are most reminiscent of the band's brilliantly grimy synthpop.

However, Alfons has displayed a softer side to him when his songs are stripped down, as shown in this beautiful piano rendition of 'Sulk' from the band's debut. We catch a brief glimpse of this in the emotive ending to 'Lost Souls/Eelings' with Alfons' gloomy vocals echoing over a slow piano part. We are quickly struck by the anxious 'Peer Pressure', which comes and goes sprinting. The album closer 'Barely' gives prominence to Alfons' vocals, while synths teeter on the edge of both the darkness and the light that the album plays with throughout.

Ultimately, Joyland is a journey that leaves you with an affirming sense of calm. It may not be as bold or as striking as TRST, but as a solid sophomore release, the band has definitely gained our trust.