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Reviews

Atlas Sound
Logos Meryl Trussler , October 27th, 2009 13:10

Logos: the name makes me think of 1) Douglas Coupland's Corporate Safety Blanket No. 1, a snug throw spangled with the brand names whose very fonts and hues have burned into our subconscious: Microsoft, Kodak, Ford. Imagine the thick crust of branded impressions that melts and settles on your mental circuitry every day; if your mind were a toaster, you wouldn't use it.

Well, Bradford Cox uses the toaster. He's a hoarder. The name for this solo project comes from the company who made the karaoke machine he used to record songs as a teenager. The unexpected, lush violin on 'Attic Lights' was improvised and recorded by Sasha Vine of the Sian Alice Group backstage at a Deerhunter gig in Brighton. 'Walkabout', the likely favourite which channels and features Mr Blue Sky Beach-Boy Noah Lennox in equal amounts, features a sample from 'What Am I Going to Do' by the Dovers that Cox tripped over in an on-tour iPod game with Animal Collective. It's all about the calculated collection of uncalculated, serendipitous ephemera. The juxtaposition of chopped, Leafcutter John-ish guitar loops and broad, ambient electronica. Even a collab with Laetitia Sadler of Stereolab and all the dreamy spacepop her vocals brings about.

With this fevered influenza of influence and Cox's claims that this album is far less introspective, far less "bedroom" than 2008's Let The Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel, it still sort of feels like some mySpace star's first self-release, something promising but not something that holds the attention. It could be the lo-fi or otherwise "buried" vocals, or the general every-last-dropness of the more repetitive tracks, but either way it is a thing made of half absolute doo-wop killer and half filler.

But Logos: it makes me think too, and 2), of the ancients, of the divine principle of the universe, or of the word of God. Of Cox taking what he's given and trying to interpret it into the Atlas Sound gospel. It can't be argued that he didn't make something beautiful, when listening to the sombre 'An Orchid' or, again, 'Walkabout' and its joyful refrain of "what did you want to see? / What did you want to be when you grew up?" Something can easily be oft-boring but beautiful. Lazy and pretty. Just the things that float past your periphery and somehow get remembered.

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