This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
White Noise: Glasser – Ring

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Glasser – Ring

Glasser, or Cameron Mesirow, however you like it, is quite the prodigy. She's gained a lot of critical acclaim recently after the release of her first track Apply, and after being touted as the next Fever Ray, Bat for Lashes and even Bjork, she released Ring, her first album, apparently made entirely on garageband. So does she deserve such accolades? At the moment I'd say not, but there are definitely the makings of an interesting album here.

She's fusing quite a lot of styles together at once, and somewhat predictably as a result it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Lead track Apply is a stunner; a track with a powerful beat, a dubby accompaniment and some fantastically elastic vocals. She's clearly another one of these 'uses her voice primarily as an instrument' artists that seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment, but to give her the credit due, she does it better than most. In fact the strength of her voice on the soaring chorus and her little percussive shrieks really make the track, it's overflowing with strength in terms of composition.

Let's keep going with the positive for a moment. Her tribal beat patterns are often well accompanied by low-key synths, and her voice truly shines on track after track. Plane Temp has a rousing melody and is a great deal prettier than much of the rest of the material here, it has satisfyingly restrained percussion and exudes a very natural, analogue atmosphere despite the dominance of electronic instruments. Tremel is probably the standout track on the album, the vocal melody is absolutely infectious and the beats build in clever layers, while punctuating cries and synths enhance the force of the overall sound.

She shows such promise in these tracks, but this album gets wrong more than it gets right. She's trying to do so much and fuse so many styles that often the songs feel lost and slight, in fact it would take a dedicated listen to be able to distinguish each song from all the others by ear. The result is a sort of hypnotic mush of tribal beats and gilded vocals that just doesn't shine enough to be worth an extended listen. Opportunities for the music to be taken further are often missed, with the instrumentals often building up and then just sort of fading out inconsequentially. Furthermore on certain tracks the layering just doesn't gel, and the instruments just don't sound good when all put together, most notably on third cut Glad and vaguely jarring penultimate track Treasury of We.

The album is conceptually inspired by Homer's Odyssey and its framework of having no true beginning or end (hence the name 'Ring'), and this can be heard in the short ambient pieces that follow each track, and in the breakdown of recurring melodies at the end of closer Clamour (which has quite a nice memorable little saxophone part running through it, incidentally). But these sections don't really sound like anything, and the album gets lost in the concept too frequently, trying so hard to be a concept in its entirety that any sense of coherence gets lost in the mix.

Glasser is trying to do something interesting, and she clearly has a lot of skill to even be partly successful in melding these styles. I do also wish to note that the album cover is absolutely gorgeous. The album sounds completely unique, but that's not enough to make it good music. There just aren't enough good tracks here to make it worth recommending too highly, but as a debut album it's highly ambitious and perhaps we can expect a more refined approach from her follow-up.


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home