May 29, 2013 Web Exclusive
Devon Welsh, sole proprietor of spelling-challenged act Majical Cloudz, has a stunning voice. An emotive baritone, it soars above his minimal instrumentation, and is by far the most interesting element of his whisper-soft album. This is bedroom-recorded music made for bedroom listening. (Alone, unless your significant other is turned on by nihilism.) Unfortunately, with few tracks rising above their seemingly sketched out nature, Impersonator is a breathtaking debut defined by all the things it is not. The majority sounds like demos for a fuller, richer album that Welsh undoubtedly has the skills to write.
Welsh creates Impersonator's emotional tension through a series of morose musical and lyrical statements. "Childhood's End," perhaps the album's most realized track, features both strings and synths, backing a narrative arc about a child watching his father be shot and killed. "Bugs Don't Buzz" begins with the line, "The cheesiest songs all end with a smile." It would sound tongue-in-cheek if it weren't for the detuned piano—threatening to pull the song down a funhouse mirror-lined rabbit hole. The album's final track, "Notebook," starts with an offhanded, "Hey man, sooner or later you'll be dead." Being in touch with one's mortality is all well and good, but as a musician Welsh has yet to start living. (www.facebook.com/MajicalCloudz)
Author rating: 5.5/10
Average reader rating: 5/10