Anarom, a.k.a 20-year-old Michael Morana, lies somewhere in between the realms of lovelorn geekdom and only-in-SoCal ambient pop. Whatever the genre location Shorelines winds up in, it's still way good music.
There's an obvious nod to The Avalanches throughout this business. Much of the music deals with old school soul and some light disco while Morana sets up luscious beats for all to hear. There's a bunch of good stuff that I don't feel like listing in a coherent way. The playful and shifting soundscape created on "Back to Back" is a backslap to Boards of Canada, the spacey R&B on "Habits." The vocally distorted dreamtronica on the lovely "Bottles." The best example of Morana throwing caution to the wind and giving into his Dadaist is the super-reverby, super-good "Take My Breath," a heavy, heady drone rock number that would do Lou Reed proud. The hazy "Another Chance" combines a surplus of synths and beats and somehow doesn't sound to crowded for him to sing over. It's a delightfully poppy song that contains just the right amount of experimentation. "Habits" utilizes eq filters and resonance to create an ever changing landscape as rhymes are spit over the music. The album ends with "Geodes" with combines complex melodic and rhythmic elements which work to its favor. A constant change in sounds and tones this song was a good choice to end the album with.
This is such a geeky album when you think of it. It has the feel of a collagists attempt to gratify every major genre crossover that's occurred in the last five years. There're the retro samples, heavy, buzzing drones, sunshine noise emissions, and yet Shorelines has the strength and versatility of a veteran sound smith. At worst it sounds more carefully constructed than most music of this vein sounds nowadays. At best this is one of the best electronic albums to come out of SoCal in a while. Original, graceful and defiant.
That "Take My Breath" though. It'll probably still be on repeat by the time you read this.
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