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2013 release from French IDM artist Jackson Fourgeaud AKA Jackson & His Computerband. When Jackson emerged from the lingering Disco after-smoke of the 'French Touch' scene that nurtured Daft Punk and Phoenix amongst others, Paris and the rest of the world were changing. Slowly and methodically, strands of music were moving from warehouse raves into the global mainstream and at the time of his debut Smash, in 2005, he and his Computer Band embodied the bleeding edge of this transition.
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Unfortunately what is keeping me from giving this a higher recommendation is the poor songwriting that mars much of the album, particularly during the first half, where there are some questionable attempts at quirky pop songs. I don't know what to make out of the laughable accent/pronunciation on the vocals to "Dead Living Things", the singing is weird and kills the mood of the piece (whatever it might have been aiming for). "GI Jane" is a weak hybrid of Rock and Electronic music, never seeming to want to commit to one style or the other, making for a muddled musical environment for the song to exist in. ("Blood Bust" tries the same blend with marginally better results.) "Memory" is probably the worst offender, as I could not find anything memorable about it. The opener "Blow" is a mess.
Glow begins to redeem itself in the second half. Here Jackson flaunts his talents with more engaging instrumental passages that work as dance music. At many times he teases the listener with expectations of a sturdy electronic beat diverted with a few odd detours along the way (such as the orchestral bursts of "Pump" or the piano interludes of "Billy"). "Arp #1" and "Vista" are two standouts, the latter showing how vocals can enhance Jackson's music with a memorable and beautiful melody. "Seal" and "More" belong in this group as well. Another positive note I can say about the album overall is that the sound design is really superb , in that all the musical elements employed throughout have sharp dynamics. I didn't notice this until my first headphone listen. Also, I also love the cover photo, which on CD and record has a shiny sheen to add a bit elegance.
Not the stunning achievement I was hoping for. An odd album to review for, as I feel the "highs" are really great on this album, but the "lows" are quite bad. Even still, I do recommend checking Glow out.
It's not mixed in mind for audio systems with enhanced bass. Completely washes my system over in bass on a few tracks. I really like "Seal," "Arp #1," and "Billy." I love the fundamental sounds and the extravagant aggression of Jackson's style, but the album doesn't feel like it has cohesion or proper structure. I couldn't fully get into it.