Considering this is a self-produced record, the quality is seriously impressive. The whole thing sounds professional and polished and if you told me this was a flagship release on an independent label I’d definitely believe you. The EP itself is a fusion between the traditional singer-songwriter acoustic yawn-fest and sample-based, electronic production.
The samples are great in parts, adding depth and adding some intrigue and quirk to what is otherwise a pretty standard record. The songs are well structured musically, but lyrically there are points where I’m not sure if I’m listening to art or drivel (although people really attempting the former often seem to end up with the latter).
Among the highlights is 'Dancing In The Moonlight', reminiscent of the production style found on Gil-Scott Heron’s 'I’m New Here', with the atmospheric string samples and the processed, glitchy vocal at the end a great touch. The final track, 'Why Take The Risk', despite containing a horrific mispronunciation of the word 'ignorance', is a beautiful way to end the album; emotive, intriguing and massive.
Instrumentation and production aside, Esterhazy’s voice begins to grate at times, with an accent that can’t decide its origins (English one moment, American another, his native Belgian creeping in here and there too). I’m not sure if he thinks he’s being cool and art-house with double meanings and such, but the lyrics are plain daft in parts, especially opener 'Everything is Everything'. The title itself should be enough to give you an idea of the content. It reeks of pretentiousness and I’m cringing just thinking about it.
That being said, the production really makes up for the otherwise lacklustre songwriting, and at times I find myself forgiving the fact that Raphael Esterhazy has all the lyrical prowess of an eight-year-old and bask in the sheer depth of the instrumentation here.
Generally, 'Mind The Gap' has some pretty damn good music and great ideas experimentally. I love the combination of styles, they work together brilliantly without one over-powering each other. I’m sure a lot of people will really dig the voice, but it puts me off, which is a shame because I really love how the rest of the album sounds. Gutted.
Posted: Tue 17 July 2012 Total Views: 543Views Today: 0