At Swim Two Birds (Plant Mu­sic)

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos -

Af­ter six years of col­lab­o­rat­ing, New York vo­cal­ist/gui­tarist/ Plant Mu­sic la­bel co-head Do­minique Kee­gan and Ber­lin beat/sam­ple whiz Glen Brady (aka DJ Wool) have fi­nally pulled off a full-length al­bum un­der the moniker The Glass. Har­ness­ing the cur­rent pop­u­lar­ity of throw­back-synth-pop duos like Chromeo and MGMT, Kee­gan and Brady de­liver a dance-rock al­bum that is more elec­tro-driven than their ear­lier work, putting more em­pha­sis on dance than rock. Most of the al­bum plays in com­fort­able (maybe a lit­tle too com­fort­able) 4/4 time. Os­cil­lat­ing, glitch-laden key­board-chord pro­gres­sions and funk-heavy dig­i­tal bass lines feed into the no­tion that The Glass has moved com­pletely away from dark, brood­ing, gui­tar-friendly bed­room-elec­tro ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and fully em­braced the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of Pet Shop Boys-styled disco beats and jin­gle-jan­gly string in­ter­ludes. Singer Kee­gan re­mains in mel­low crooner mode through­out the al­bum — to odd ef­fect. The hyp­notic trance-rave qual­i­ties of “At­mos­phere” call for his whis­pery vo­cals, but when he sings “I want to break this world in two, or maybe just an­other night with you” on the track “Heavy Disco,” you can al­most feel him rolling his eyes. While the al­bum is night­club-remix-ready, it feels largely dis­tant and im­per­sonal for a de­but full-length out­ing. The world doesn’t need an­other “Safety Dance,” which is ba­si­cally the sound that The Glass is try­ing to sell here.

— Rob DeWalt

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