Album Reviews - Reviews

iamamiwhoami – Blue


Sweden’s iamamiwhoami are a curious wee thing. Self releasing electronic albums every year with corresponding YouTube videos providing a unique visual interpretation of the  soundscape the band creates. Their third album, Blue, is not different. For the sake of this review, we’ll be stripping away all of the multimedia whizzbang flashiness and looking at the album in isolation. In this regard, Blue is an interesting but ultimately straightforward synthpop album. The thick, deep bass synths cover the low of the mix, like some kind of heavy musical butter or a laboured simile. The vocals range from the silky and ethereal to low smooth croons, sliding between the two relatively seamlessly. The entire proceeding seems to be filtered through the soundsfilter of mid-1980s Kate Bush, so much so that it would hardly be surprising to find out that Hounds of Love and The Sensual World had been on a near constant rotation during the writing and recording of the album. With that said, mid-1980s Kate Bush is best Kate Bush so using those records as a point of reference is nothing to be ashamed of.

One aspect of the album that very much falters is that of song length. In the documentary, 20000 Days on Earth, Nick Cave mentions how one of the signs that let him know he had matured as a songwriter was his willingness to cull the length of his songs if they needed it. Iamamiwhoami don’t seem to have this level of confidence in their own work. All the pieces here have, for the most part, a fantastic bedrock on which to build a great song on. The issue is that everything just goes on for that little bit too long. Take for example the album opener ‘Streamer’, with its killer hook and Lorde inflected sound, it’s a great mission statement for the album. However, as the song progresses and begins to loop around itself, things feel more tedious. Say what you will about Lorde, the woman knows exactly how long her songs need to be for maximum impact. It’s such a shame that this is the case, as the songs are good, but a sense of relief comes over you when the song finishes rather than a sense of longing.

At its core Blue is a perfectly fine record with flourishes of greatness, but lacks the confidence of its conviction to become anything more than just a straightforward synth-pop record. Will Murphy

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