ALBUM REVIEW: Low Island - If You Could Have It All Again

7/10

ALBUM REVIEW: Low Island - If You Could Have It All Again

Low Island deliver well-realized electronic music accompanied by haunting beautiful melodies on their latest album If You Could Have It All Again. The music is ambient, well-produced by Jamie Jay and intricately dense with some raw musical power throughout an album rooted in electronica but flirting with rock, classical and indie.

“Hey Man” opens the album with a repetitive synth and a nice vocal melody. Felix Higginbottom’s drums are phenomenal and the high point of the entire album. The middle section is brilliant with nice ambient vocals asking a struggling friend, “are you gonna listen.” The track is wonderfully fragmented, but Posada sounds inescapably like Matty Healy of The 1975, which persists for much of the album.

“What Do You Stand For” takes a left turn with a crusty guitar riff inflected song. The hook is decent with a really dense driving rock-inspired sound, which sees Posada attempt more intricate lyrics; however, it doesn’t feel like he believes what he’s saying. “And he’s done things with social media that’s completely cross-generational,” he spits in a jarring fashion. “Don’t Let The Light In” offers an example of what Posada has to offer when he sings the opening lyrics in a bed of Jacob Lively’s funky bass lines, arpeggios and sweeping synths. “You’re etched in the air; you’re a perfect silhouette,” his vocals are always beautifully delivered, but the songwriting on this album is sacrificed for what seems to be self-indulgence.

“Don’t Let The Light In (Reprise)” is beautiful and possibly the best on the album. Posada strums a haunted guitar and delivers his best vocals of the album complemented by swooping soundscapes that vanish as soon as they come in. A sprinkling guitar and eerie vocals guide Posada through “In Your Arms,” however, the song never seems to find its direction. Rhythmic synth peppers the track to give it life. This, however, sounds like their most original work and with intriguing lyrics and some innovative music.

“Who’s Having The Greatest Time?” hosts Low Island’s best musical interludes of the album but is also one of the poorer songs. “I’m growing my fingernails; I don’t care if I’m losing this race” is a bizarre form of social protest in a song where Posada comes across as condescending. “Feel Young Again” is a nice highlight of the album where Posada sounds best when he is at his most vulnerable. A nice distorted guitar riff complements the swelling underbelly of the reverb-laden track full of electro synths.

“I Do It For You” sees Posada adopt the position of the scorned lover who himself seems dissatisfied with his lover. The music starts sparse before it builds with a dissonant synth that turns into a screaming cacophony before the music swallows itself and spits out the second verse. A simple classical music arrangement is squeezed beneath a blanket of dreamy fuzzy reverb lays the foundation for “Momentary” Posada’s take on love with a nice melody that develops very well. The track culminates in a beautiful refrain that sounds like a euphoric release.

Posada talks about his former dreams on “Spaces Closing In” in a sporadic and sparse track with reverb and delay touched vocals. “What The Hell (are you gonna do now?)” demonstrates some of Posada’s best lyrics with lines like, “I want a lover’s touch, and another’s heart,” and the repeated sentiment, “what lovers share they leave behind.” The atmospheric bouncy music latches onto Posada h really nicely to bring the album to a close.

This album demonstrates how much Low Island have to offer with their fantastically intricate music and gorgeous melodies. However, it feels like Posada sometimes is not writing the music with his own tastes in mind for much of the album.  The music is atmospheric, calming and meditative, but it fails to grab the listener and demand attention.

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