I remember ahead of either Octahedron or Noctourniquet, Cedric or Omar said their upcoming album would be acoustic, and then of course it wasn’t, it was just softer than the past. Well, they finally made their acoustic album, only it’s just a remake of their reunion left-turn album. And, listening to it, I imagine that this version of that self-titled album would have been much better received than the actual album, both because it feels even more like a radical left turn and because it just feels like these arrangements are more appropriate to the songs.
And maybe that’s because I, like so many other fans, was put off by the sophistipop vibe of the previous record. That vibe is mostly gone. The album is still not raw enough for my liking, but it still feels more “organic” or, anyway, closer to how the songs could sound without such affectation.
I still don’t love this, compared to how I loved the original version of the band. If this really is their Style Council to the original’s Jam, I do think they should have changed their name. Having finally seen them live, I’m wondering if the sole reason not to change their name is so that they can still “play the hits” live. If this will continue to be the direction they are going, I think I’m going to check out pretty soon.
I still do like this significantly more than the previous record and I think I need to downgrade my charitable grade of the previous album, because I feel like this, you know, fine. And if this is fine, then that previous album isn’t quite.
Maybe I will change how I feel with more listens. I think one reason why this stuff is so jarring is because of how proggy they were initially. Even when they moderated their tendencies on their albums in the teens, they still were clearly a prog rock band. Now they’re not (at least in studio) and maybe that’s something I just need to get over. This album does make me like this new sound at least a little better, so maybe I need more time. That being said, I still don’t think I’ll be continuing to check out each subsequent album if they continue on this path. Just not my thing.