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- Within And Without by Washed Out
8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 08 July 2011
You should by now be at least semi-familiar with Ernest Greene A.K.A Washed Out. His 'Life Of Leisure' EP was the surprise hit that kinda kick started a minor revolution in indie dance circles that resulted in a flurry of contract signing, ridiculous new genre terms and the occasional quality act or two. I really like 'Life Of Leisure'. It the sound of a regular guy who wanted to write some nice pop songs on his computer at home that just happened to amazingly likeable and unite the planets in universal harmony, Wyld Stallions style. In fact, I don't think he had any real intentions of becoming a 'pop star' at all. It seems more likely that it was thrust upon on him after his initial burst of success. That and I guess anything beats a 9-'til-5. This kinda shows on 'Within And Without' as Greene struggles to match the glorious sun drenched utopia of his debut. 'Within And Without' is by no means a bad album, Greene has perfected both his songwriting and production technique to an incredibly high standard and he certainly has a style that he can comfortably call his own. The elements are all in place, the tranquil delay-drenched synths, the emotive vocal delivery, the warm beat production and the general air of blissful dance pop psychedelia. My main gripe is that there's nothing here that matches the genius of 'Hold Out' and Gary Low-sampling 'Feel It All Around'. I guess this is inevitable when you're signed to bigger label and the pressure's on. The single 'Eyes Be Closed' is a winner (and a blueprint for the rest of the album) yet the majority of it drifts with very little variation in dynamic or bpm. I'm guessing it just needs a few more spins before it settles in but for now I'm left feeling ever so slightly disappointed.
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