Friday, December 31, 2010

SIMILES - Eluvium (2010)

Portland, Oregon-based ambient/electronica artist Matthew Cooper's fifth full-length offering as Eluvium finds him introducing both drums and vocals for the very first time. 

Despite these additions, and unlike 2007's stunning Copia, which imbued its ambient exercises with a expansive, classical sheen, Similes has a more intimate,smaller scale feel than Eluvium's past efforts. Starting with shorter, relatively focused numbers (almost pop songs), it gradually unravels into increasingly abstract exercises in raw existence, capped by the meditative, soul-stirring Cease To Know, the finest single ambient track I've heard in many a year.

Cooper's vocals, sung in a warm, soft monotone, reflect Another Green World Eno, minus the humor, and while hardly a compelling presence in their own right, blend well with the music.

Overall, Similes didn't excite me nearly as much as Copia, but there remains much beauty here, and Cease To Know alone, with its steady, mind-erasing flow, makes it worth the price of admission.

Status: Mild Recommend.

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: The Motion Makes Me Last, Weird Creatures, Making Up Minds, Cease To Know.

Here's a fan video for The Motion Makes Me Last which does a nice job conveying the dreamlike quality of this album's music.

Component Breakdown:
1. Leaves Eclipse The Light - 7
2. The Motion Makes Me Last - 8
3. In Culmination - 6
4. Weird Creatures - 8
5. Nightmare 5 - 6
6. Making Up Minds - 7
7. Bending Dream - 6
8. Cease To Know - 10
Intangibles - Average

What are your thoughts on Eluvium's Similes?  Let readers know with a comment.

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