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Album Review

Like a lot of his ambient peers, Lichens both suffers and benefits from a remarkable sense of sameness. These soft tones wave like flags in a light breeze, a single fabric in constant gentle flux. The result is at once cool and becoming, inviting but diffuse. OMNS may not be the ambient record to win over the unconverted — Keith Fullerton Whitman's stomach-loosening Lisbon holds that title — but it offers plenty of attention-getting flourishes atop these spare tones, albeit as simple as the guitar flutters of the first track or the piano melancholia of the second. For all its impressive intellectualism, it remains firmly committed to pleasing the listener, even forcing the artist's personality to the point of including a pensive live DVD with the record. This performance is a nice enough addendum but serves more as a visual corollary to the five sanguine beauties from the album proper.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Lichens was the solo improv project of Chicago composer Robert Lowe, previously known as the bassist with art rock combo 90 Day Men. A product of the Kansas City area, Lowe signed on with 90 Day Men in 1996, just prior to their relocation from St. Louis to Chicago; when the group went on hiatus following a European tour supporting its 2004 disc Panda Park, Lowe channeled his energies into his long-simmering solo pursuits, appearing as Lichens at that summer's Arthur magazine-sponsored Million Tongues...
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Omns, Lichens
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