The recent release from Jopator entitled Sheltered Memories and Other Melodies sounds like it is coming a transistor radio located in another room that is surrounded in dream. The one-man project from Joel Tourout is dissonant, inaccessible and not for everyone. Tourout doesn’t exactly have a good voice but you may not notice because of the copious amounts of reverb. There is very little low end on this album and a number of aesthetic issues that hold it back from finding its potential.
Sheltered Memories and Other Melodies contains some inspired moments and others that fall flat. He opens “Winter Getaway,” which sounds like a lounge song being ironically played while you are coming off a bad acid trip. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying but luckily he supplies some lyrics on his Bandcamp page. He sings, “I'm stuck in a mess I wish I can go out to a place that's best Well what can I say Life doesn't get any better Until you'll be out on a winter getaway.”
“Generation Method” is a mild success only because of the ambivalent feelings I was having. It’s almost so bad it’s good. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same way about “Dawnlight,” which had no redeeming qualities. The percussion in particular was frustratingly out of time and had no aesthetically pleasing tonal qualities.
“Golden Summit” sounds like a demo/practice tape for an Animal Collective song. He combines vocal harmonies and sloppily finds moments that work. Behind the lo-fi recording quality on “Struggle” lies one of Tourout’s best songs. It’s too bad the recording quality wasn’t about 50% better. Tourout loads so much reverb on “Drawn Awake” it almost doesn’t matter what he plays. Everything sounds like it’s being played about two miles away in a cave. I would have liked either his vocals or the music to have less reverb.
Tourout has some decent ideas and I like that he is doing something original but he will want to work on his delivery and implementation if he wants to compete with some of the artists he admires.
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