Doldrums 2

Album Review: Doldrums – Lesser Evil

Doldrums 2 “Woodhead has definitely stumbled onto something with the music in Lesser Evil, a sound that takes his many influences and creates something that is distinctly his…”

Doldrums  |  Lesser Evil

With some albums, it’s not a big deal if one is multi-tasking while listening.  Lesser Evil, by Doldrums (Montreal native Airick Woodhead), is not one of those albums.  An exquisite album with impeccable artistry, Woodhead has done a masterful job in creating one of the top albums of early 2013.  This is an album that requires dedicated listening (and several times at that) to fully discern the cornucopia of sounds present on each track.

One of Woodhead’s many talents is his ability to traverse a multitude of music genres, not only across the album, but on individual tracks.  For instance, single ‘She is the Wave’ starts with a very experimental sound, while the falsetto vocals make it sound almost pop-like.  This mixture works to create a sound that goes far beyond the appeal of what it would have been had Woodhead merely kept to one genre or the other.  Subsequent song ‘Sunrise’ dials the experimental sound down almost completely, leaving the listener with smooth melodies and vocals that manages to not sound out of place despite the contrast between it and almost everything else on the album.

What’s even more incredible is that Woodhead hits his stride even more on other tracks.  ‘Egypt’, with its driving background beat that meshes somehow perfectly with the more laid-back chorus and seemingly random samples, is a true stand-out song.  ‘Live Forever’ reaches a high point for the vocals and lyrics, and the synths and drums complement Woodhead’s voice excellently, and the sole complaint is the drum break towards the tail end showcases some very interesting beats that drags on just a hair too long.

Throughout the whole album, only one track stands out as being completely subpar, ‘Singularity Acid Face’.  Sounding like a half-finished idea, with no real substance or thought behind it, its soundscapes simply don’t fit with the aesthetic of the rest of the album.  Listeners will take consolation in the fact that it clocks in only a little over a minute long, making it a small price to pay for what is otherwise a practically flawless album.

Woodhead has definitely stumbled onto something with the music in Lesser Evil, a sound that takes his many influences and creates something that is distinctly his.  An even greater testament to his raw talent is the fact that Lesser Evil was mostly created on a laptop borrowed from touring partner Grimes over almost a year and a half.  If he can make such a cohesive debut album in that long of a timespan, one can only wonder what he can do his next time out.

 

9.1