|MH-290 Brothertiger - Future Splendors
Future Splendors is the nostalgic new ten-track album from synth-pop darling, Brothertiger. The follow-up to his debut, Golden Years, steps up on every conceivable front. The luxurious synth and production work is intricate and enveloping, the melodies and lyrics are undeniably strong, and the vocals are notably confident, yielding the best Brothertiger songs to date. Beholden to purest eighties' synth-pop, the album operates as a collection of cinematic moments, drowned in glowing neon. Whether it's the pop-grandeur of lead single, "In Mind" or the arpeggiated synth bass and dancefloor tested drum kit that sneaks into title track, Future Splendors delivers again and again as an homage to the never-ending summers of youth.
|Listen to tantalize, soothe, and excite you mind - Beats Per minute / It’s emotionally driven and lyrically smart while at the same time completely danceable - In Your Speakers / Brothertiger may wrap his melodies in layer upon layer of ethereal textures, but they’re unmistakably present - The Deli / In a word, pretty - Audio Drums|
|Electronic-based pop music is definitely making a comeback after a decline in the late '90s. A large amount of today's pop music even wavers on the brink of full out clubby electronic dance music. The more chill side of this style is also getting some great releases, such as Brothertiger’s new LP Future Splendors. His sophomore album exemplifies and even beats out the quality of much of modern synth-pop.|
Now, this 10-track release shouldn't be classified as just a synth-pop or chillwave album, but as a multi-genre spectacular. With songs leaning toward nu-disco, indietronica and deep electronica, mastermind John Jagos shows how varied his production can be on just one album.
Future Splendors experiments with different sounds even more than his 2012 debut Golden Years, both instrumentally and vocally. Jagos also crafts meaningful lyrics about love and overall happiness.
From the first sound on opener “Up From Below,” it is easy to see how much Jagos has improved in the year and a half since his last release. Whether it is the more professional synth work, or the fuller vocal sound, the opener grasps the listener and snuggles like a warm blanket.
The album’s first single, “In Mind,” is as upbeat as chillwave can be. The song is light, with a catchy chorus in which Jagos sings in his lower register instead of his old breathy style. The guitar solo toward the end is also a fresh new addition to his sound.
The indietronica jam “Crazy, Again” is a bit of a hiccup. Though the upbeat instrumentals are nice, they sometimes overshadow Jagos’s occasionally weak voice. The fifth track, “You Should Know,” has the essence of a synth-pop song played during the credits of an '80s movie, with a saxophone solo that gives the track a pleasant jazzy feel.
“Particle Horizon” is easily the purest song. The synths, drums and bass line create a nu-disco vibe that hasn’t been heard much in the last few decades. The purity also extends to Jagos’s voice, where there is a noticeable, unusual lack of vocal effects. The voice layering is still there, but it is nice to hear him without any embellishments every once in a while.
But the best song is the title track. The oscillating synths complement the uptempo drum beat, and Jagos seems to mimic the vocal sound of Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore with a breathy twist.
Overall, this release definitely tops anything from Brothertiger's past. Though not a perfect album, Jagos has grown a lot since Golden Years and doesn't show signs of slowing down. As long as he doesn't try to diversify himself too much before his next LP, Jagos has the capability to move farther up in the synth-pop world. - ACRN