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Reseña de álbum

Calling his sophomore album, Violet, "the morning after" a night of "half-awake dreams," Alexander Chen, aka Boy in Static, writes pretty, contemplative songs whose delicate layers of guitars, keys, and strings lull and roll, loop, and reflect upon themselves and life, airy yet thick like fog before dusk, the kind of indie electronica/post-rock atmospheric reflection that artists on Anticon and Chen's current label, Mush, have been perfecting for years. It's music that works to transport as well as to maintain balance, full of slow, drawn-out chords and spacy effects, occasionally breaking into pulsating open-eyed rock riffs (like on the eight-minute closer, "Leave You Blind," for example), but more often content to stay in that delicate space between night and day, where everyday things suddenly seem much more important than they actually are. If anything, that's where Violet goes astray: it tries to take itself a little too seriously, plays its viola riffs a little poignantly. Instrumentally, this actually isn't too much of a distraction. Chen is able to layer and process and compose his parts well enough that they flow well as pieces and are certainly affecting, but don't distract with over-sentimentality. Lyrically, however, Boy in Static isn't quite as successful. Fortunately, the words themselves are often obscured behind the piano and guitar, or the vocal track itself reverberates around the rest of the piece and acts more as another instrument, another musical element more than anything else, but when the actual phrases do come through — in "Violet" or "Where It Ends," for example — they're way too dramatic. "I'm still afraid to die without grace," Chen sings in "Without Grace," and even though he comes across as sincere enough, it's teenaged sincerity more than actual mature reflection, as if he's listened to as much Dashboard Confessional as he did Slowdive. This doesn't make Violet any less pretty, any less touching, but these flaws do mean that it will never be able to move from being a nighttime album — background music — to something that can be listened to completely. As it stands, it will just have to function as something that fades in and out of consciousness as real life continues on around it.


Género: Alternativa

Años de actividad: '00s

Growing up in New Jersey, Alexander Chen got a start on music at an early age when his parents started him on piano, and soon he picked up the viola, performing in the school orchestra. Moving to Boston after high school, Chen began recording his own work under the name Boy in Static, playing up to 15 instruments for the three-song demo he sent to the Notwist's label, Alien Transistor. When the German band came to Massachusetts for a show, Chen was able to meet up with them, and eventually signed...
Biografía completa
Violet, Boy In Static
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