Rostam: Half Light (Nonesuch/Warner)

 |   |  <1 min read

Wood
Rostam: Half Light (Nonesuch/Warner)

Any record company exec would be glad to sign Rostam Batmanglij as a solo artist after his role as mainman in the musically expansive and interesting Vampire Weekend who he also produced. His other production roles alone would recommend him (Das Racist, Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Santigold, Haim, Frank Ocean) and he's got a rolodex of good contacts.

But if he delivered these sometimes interesting but very diverse 15 songs to you, some of which sound unfinished and others in need of refining, then you might gently suggest he get back in the studio and consider a more clear focus.

The impression here is that from the opener Sumer – imagine the Fleet Foxes go lightly electronic – through the Vocoder-heavy and Bieberish pop of Hold You, the nods to reggae on Rudy to the fully formed Gwan at the end where he suggests we/she doesn't really know him -- is that this is more a clearing house than a coherent album.

There is beguiling pop here (the cleverly lo-fi Bike Dream), all kinds of introversion in the lyrics (the slightlydelic Half Light is lovely), fascinating Indo-pop on Wood which sounds like a soundtrack piece and an assured sense of arrangements for strings and such . . .

But while those record company types will be supporting this they are perhaps quite rightly hoping he gets more of his ducks on the same page and dots the Ts a bit more closely next time out.

Backlog cleared out, better must come.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Bjork: Vulnicura (One Little Indian/Inertia)

Bjork: Vulnicura (One Little Indian/Inertia)

As with many interesting musicians -- Cohen, Dylan, Faithfull, Cave, Waits et al come to mind -- Bjork is of rock culture (in that she is written about in the rock press) but not really part of it.... > Read more

They Might Be Giants: Join Us (Rounder)

They Might Be Giants: Join Us (Rounder)

Like Jonathan Richman and Weezer, New York's They Might Be Giants had nerdy charm when they emerged some 15 albums ago and it was fun to hear them on the theme to Malcolm in the Middle and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE MAGIC OF AUDREY HEPBURN  (Madman DVD)

THE MAGIC OF AUDREY HEPBURN (Madman DVD)

The description "unauthorised" usually implies content that the subject may not wish to have exposed to the public, but there is nothing in this documentary -- hagiography in fact --... > Read more

ONE WE MISSED: Various Artists; One Love, The Very Best of Aotearoa Reggae (Sony)

ONE WE MISSED: Various Artists; One Love, The Very Best of Aotearoa Reggae (Sony)

Released a few weeks back, this highly inclusive, 34-song double disc got repeat play in the car stereo because it isn't always our default position of "barbecue reggae" (although there's... > Read more