Atlas Sound

Logos

Kranky

Oct 20, 2009 Issue #28 Fall 2009 - Monsters of Folk Bookmark and Share


After Bradford Cox, frontman for Atlanta's Deerhunter and the sole member of Atlas Sound, unintentionally posted a download link to an early, unfinished version of Logos on the Deerhunter blog, he nearly abandoned the project out of frustration. But we're fortunate he didn't. Those underdeveloped sketches have since blossomed into yet another album of fractured pop, shot through with lovelorn melancholy and the kind of supple melody for which he's known. Better yet, where 2008's Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel was a tangle of half-formed ideasicy sound collages, atmospheric fragmentsLogos finds Cox streamlining his ideas into more familiarly structured pop packages. And while the tension between free-form ambience and no-nonsense rock has earmarked the Atlas Sound (and Deerhunter) oeuvre, Logos is perhaps Cox's most effortless synthesis yet of those two extremes.

Perhaps the most glaring departure on this second proper full-length is the inclusion of two high-profile cameos: Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) on the ebullient "Walkabout" and Stereolab's Lætitia Sadier on the space boogie of "Quick Canal." For a band that began as an insular bedroom recording project, the presence of two of indie rock's most distinctive voices might have threatened to upset the singularity of Cox's vision. Instead, they integrate seamlessly into the fabric of the record. Yes, "Walkabout" is built on the same kind of soaring choruses and layered samples that dominated Panda Bear's Person Pitch, but Cox's own distinct pop sensibility remains intact. Likewise, "Quick Canal" is indebted to Stereolab's sprawling motorik, but roars of heavily treated guitar and a bed of slick, programmed beats ensure it's not mistaken for the work of Sadier's main gig. Of course, as the rest of the album testifies, Cox doesn't need a helping hand in crafting undeniable pophe's doing just fine on his own. (www.myspace.com/bradfordcox)

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