Astronautalis - Pomegranate
Sometimes, you just don't know what to say about an album. Here I am with Andy Bothwell--otherwise known as Astronautalis--and his latest album, Pomegranate, and I can consider myself wholy speechless. If perhaps, I ever unconsciously wondered what would occur if you took Atmosphere and mixed it with Beck, maybe I conceived this album as a possible result. When I say conceived, I mean imagined the kind of musical concept that is this album. Not once would I ever be able to create something this good. I came into this album expecting to be disappointed. I came out slightly renewed and I felt somewhat deceived--by society. This album is a thinker.
Allegedly, there is a deeper meaning to these tracks and these lyrics, penned by Bothwell. I can't grasp it. "The Wondersmith and His Sons" musically creates a scenario of a Shakespearean western scene featuring Audrey Hepburn and John Wayne on one horse galloping into Pioneetown, CA. The entire scene is being narrated by some guy with a grand piano in bar in said setting. That's where Andy Bothwell details the whole thing, describing a family of sorts. Here comes the Beck featuring a fast-mouthed Bothwell rambling "Then there was me, I was born a charming man with silver tongue and pearl teeth." The delivery is flawless, the musical companionship is flawless, the keys create a sense of suspense. The guitars are very mood-setting and the drums are so raw in a sense that you can almost imagine a grimy layer of dirt on the snares. Bothwell, I trust you.
The album is just as amazing as the first. "Secrets of the Undersea Bell" is Bothwell's "Loser." Again, you are being another western-esque tale that you can't really follow, but the music creates its own imagery. Most importantly, is just the stellar variety of the composition of each track. "Secrets of the Undersea Bell" is this poppy mellow track that is very crazy, for lack of a better term. "Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot" is this very narrative, hip-hop inspired track. You can't say this track is terrible. Compared to what? It's whacky and outrageous, but never terrible. People do not like change.
It's a pity, though. Bothwell is onto something. Pray to God he keeps it going, that's how beautiful this is.
"Pretty Patricia was a nervous wreck, deadened by the darvocet, furnished by a charlatan posing as her pharmacist."
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