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Vinyl, August 27, 2012
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2012 release, the fourth full length album from the Electronic singer/songwriter/producer. While the album's dancefloor-ready tempos, major keys, and sun-warmed synths signal Beams as the lighter, brighter response to its predecessor, Dear's latest productions creak and groan like anxious organisms, with slivers of guitar, electric bass, and drum kit darting in and out among the synths and samples. His lyrics, meanwhile, are deeply personal, expressing vulnerability and confusion in startlingly immediate ways.
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Top Customer Reviews
BEAMS begins with the fantastic "Her Fantasy," a song with an infectious beat that is hard to resist. "Headcage," one of the album's lead singles, sums the album (but it's not even close to being one of the best in the collection): it's filled with synthesizers, steady beats, and Dear advising the audience to party. "Ahead of Myself" is repetitive, but it fortunately repeats a nice melodic hook. "Shake Me," the album's penultimate track, it a bit more moody and atmospheric than the others, but it serves Dear well: it's one of the best on the album. The final track, "Temptation," shoots for the stars in terms of its scope, and it mostly succeeds. It's a song that shines in its final moments before the album's ending.
It's hard to recommend Matthew Dear's BEAMS: it doesn't feel passionate, and it's not really all that fun either. The lyrics here won't keep you coming back for more, and Dear's vocals are often pretty spotty (he reminds me of singer/songwriter Brad Sucks). The album comes together in a nice way though -- it's a good listen to be sure, but it's hard to point out just what about it that makes it so good. Dear's album is "interesting," and if you're looking for that kind of quality in your music, this may be the album for you. It's got a great sound, and some of the colors that Dear paints with are inspired. If you're looking for a party album, a break-up album, or the next chill-wave sensation, you probably won't find it here.
Standout tracks to sample/download: "Her Fantasy," "Ahead of Myself," and "Shake Me."
Album starts with "Her Fantasy" which is probably the best track on here. Followed with some quick hits in "Earthforms", "Headcage", and "Fighting is Futile". "Up and Out" borders on overly funky, but those vocals turn it from corny to sexy. "Overtime" reminds me of that scene where Ferris Bueller is racing to get in bed before his parents get home. "Get the Rhyme Right" slows things down a bit, very chill. "Ahead of Myself" keeps the chill going, with the repetitive "wait, I'm getting ahead of myself" driving the song forward. The album takes a brighter turn when it hits "Do the Right Thing". It borders on uplifting, but slips so comfortably into the set. "Shake Me" follows as one of the darkest and most impressive tracks on here. "Temptation" closes with a driving, rising mood that'd be comfortable on a TV on the Radio album.
This album does a lot for me personally. The mood is exactly what I'm looking. If synth pop is too poppy for you, if typical house music is feeling too generic, if electronic music is getting abrasive and rubbing you raw, check this out. My favorite album of 2012 so far.
Great tracks: Her Fantasy, Earthforms, Headcage, Do the Right Thing, Shake Me, Temptation
Not as great tracks: Overtime, Get the Rhyme Right
All tracks on this album are beautiful, intelligent, touching, and above all is Dear's great vocals and his fine treatment as a producer.
Great album, not only for House music lovers.
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If you're looking for quick insight into what this album is all about, the cover art says it all ...Read more