So there’s a pineapple in the tub. Who put it there? Faux Fantasy knows, but they’re not telling on their album entitled Bouquet. Faux Fantasy’s sound isn’t as odd as its album cover, but don’t expect a cookie cutter style either because this is some atypical synth pop if I’ve ever heard it. The songs are smooth and paneling like a pleasant drone down a hallway with understated nods to a rhythmic pulse. The dynamics are well executed and help keep the songs from being stunted by monotony. The production is well balanced matching the overall arc of this record. There isn’t a clear standout or a track that falls behind; every musical turn falls in line with the same calm heartbeat and creative approach.
Synth pop is inherently associated with the ‘80s, Depeche Mode being the closest appropriation in this case. I love the effortless delivery of vocal, almost careless with inflection and borderline monotone. It fits better than a stunning performance because the canvas of sound has no distraction or anything out of place. If you’re music is floating like a cloud don’t try to catch lightning. There’s no storm on Bouquet, just the relaxing wash of scattered showers.
“For Forever” and “Grandad the Cannibal” use ethereal harmonies and melodic lines to create an otherworldly feeling, expanding our horizons on how chill music can provoke thought. “The Season’s Prettiest” sounds a little like College with a touch of Desire. It’s just missing that heartstring emotional pull that works so well with vibe music. Faux Fantasy never quite had me engaged to that level and my impulse tells me they need to refine their sound just a little so they can have more impact especially since atmospheric music can easily drown in similarity.
From the title alone, I knew the most upbeat song would be “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now.” It relies on a steady eighth note pulse on the bass and simple back beat drums, but it has plenty of movement by comparison to anything prior. The guitar leans on a slightly more funky tone in the bridge section, but it’s short-lived and soon removed from the mix making room for the all too familiar echoing of vocal and synth. If you’re looking for more variance, this is the wrong place. Faux Fantasy knows what they do well and they don’t stray.
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