Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CANT: Dreams Come True

Dreams Come True
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

Chris Taylor, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and producer for Grizzly Bear, has not taken much time off from his duties with his main band while we wait for a follow up to 2009's brilliant Veckatimest. In between producing albums from Twin Shadow and The Morning Benders, Taylor has been slowly leaking tracks from his solo project CANT. More electronic and ambient than his work with Grizzly Bear, CANT's debut album Dreams Come True does draw from the Grizzly Bear well at times, with detailed production work and attention to texture and mood, but leans more towards his work with Twin Shadow, relying on a glossy sheen of synthesizers and industrial percussion. Of course, the album really sounds like neither of those bands. Dreams Come True is a haunting collection of tracks that steadily worms its way into your mind; the icy sheen over most of the tracks may be a hindrance to some, but the impeccable production makes up for any loss of warmth.

The best tracks for me are the more fully electronic tracks, which take on an edge of robotic funk. "Too Late Too Far" uses stutter-step percussion, wonky synth textures, and lots of interesting background textures, like an Asian flute, and bird calls.

Cant - Too Late Too Far by edin2sun

The darkly throbbing electronic shimmer of "Answer" is all lush synth atmospherics surrounding the twisted tale of a love triangle.

CANT - Answer by weallwantsome1

The industrial clang and clamor of title track "Dreams Come True" draws comparison to some of Nine Inch Nails' more art-damaged tracks.

CANT - Dreams Come True by Transdreamer Records

Several tracks point to an interest in the whole bedsit R&B movement from groups like How To Dress Well and The Weeknd. "Believe" is all swoony synths and hushed croons.

CANT - Dreams Come True by Transdreamer Records

"The Edge" sounds like a late 80s R&B come-on track; you may start sweating from the sexy funk.

CANT - Dreams Come True by Transdreamer Records

"Rises Silent" even seems to merge the electronic and R&B somewhat successfully.

CANT - Dreams Come True by Transdreamer Records

Even the tracks that sound Grizzly Bearish add interesting electronic textures which hint at a possible direction Grizzly Bear may go. "Bang" begins as a lonely, guitar based track, but adds buzzy percussion and atmospherics that add greatly to the track.

CANT - Dreams Come True by Transdreamer Records

In contrast, "She Found A Way Out," a stark acoustic lullaby, is less successful as it eventually morphs into an almost atonal electronic dirge that is a chore to listen through.

CANT - Dreams Come True by Transdreamer Records

Dreams Come True is an interesting debut from CANT and held my interest over the long haul, however, with that said, there mood of the album as a whole is very cold and clinical, to the point it becomes difficult to feel any emotional ties to the music. The album is easier to appreciate than to love, which is the only reason I don't give it a higher rating. I just needed a little more from the album in order to make it stick with me longer.

Rating Guide

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and peaks one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

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