Fantastic, on every level!
Polar Opposite is a great journey of different individual backgrounds and styles; there’s certainly something for everyone here:
23:25 takes you on an arrangement masterclass, building energy throughout, much like Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’, moving from step-to-step in energy and ending with some Bastille-influenced excessive percussion. ‘He Doesn’t Know’ reminds me a lot of 2000s New York indie, with Yeah Yeah Yeahs-style vocals leading the way; borderline Hole; Courtney Love as well!
‘Living’s Cool’ feels like an Arctic Monkeys song, but then turns things up with a multi-layered vocal harmony - great drums, I must say… ‘U Me and the Green’; exceptional lyrics here that take you on a real journey, complimented by a laid-back easy/jazz-listening background that has been fused together expertly.
‘Chasing Rainbows’ signals a switch towards EDM kicking things off with a seemingly Minecraft-inspired arrangement that would seem very much at home in that environment. ‘Breathe’ is a lesson in polyphony, a thick, multi-textural experience. Expertly-applied synthesiser pads are carefully blended with etherial vocals!
‘you were wrong person’ confidently takes a modern direction, and then another, when the harmonies in the bridge take charge with multiple layers and lead you through to the final chorus, a chorus which I will admit has stuck in my head for a while….I’ll seek help in a few days If I am still humming this in my kitchen! ‘Confusion’, reminds me a lot of ‘strobe’ by Deadmau5, and that truly is a complement. The management of the synthesisers here and samples is truly excellent. ‘Numb’, quite possibly the dynamic peak of the album with what is certainly a masterclass in Ableton Live music production and external MIDI control. The dynamics are so high at this point, that ‘Are U Shore’ comes as a relief; a blcseaweed track which also manages energy really well with both controlled and expressed harmonies throughout, establishing a signature sound for this ensemble. Wildcard by Goris takes us on a journey to an analogue-ness from a bygone age; solid-everything, solid guitars, drums vocals etc! Vintage-sounding goodness. ‘Simplicity’ sticks to its guns - stripped back and simple allowing you to hear the exactness of the artists and their composition laid bare with no distractions to complicate things. blacseaweed again with Maggot-Filled Mind; a clever lyrical journey of despair, it doesn’t hold back and the flamenco-inspired guitar is a real boon! ‘Do I Just Love Ya’ takes me back to my Ibiza days; you could easily wake up to this on a Sunday morning after an exciting day exploring all the heritage sites on offer outside of the resorts. ‘Lucky Ones’ is a track that continues an established energy reduction of the album; things are drawing to a close and this track suits that purpose extremely well.
Crashing out of this perfect cadence is a mis-placed remix of ‘breathe’ by someone called ‘Jambo’; the generic Drum & Bass production reminds me a lot of Matrix & Futurebound, with multiple clichéd techniques deployed to please a ‘certain type of audience’, but not the audience that has been put at ease by the previous track “Lucky Ones’; someone needs to speak to the Mastering Engineer in my view and get this track order sorted out!!
All-in-all, 9/10 or better yet...15/16 :-)