Released by the people at Sub Pop Records is the first official full length from Ernest Greene, better know by his stage name as WASHED OUT.
To start things off on a positive note, these glazed over tracks on “Within and Without” legitimize the “genre” of “chillwave” and give the sound some substance, more definition (as if it needed more) and direction. This is something I didn’t particularly think would happen, but clearly with an album like this this sound isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As if it weren’t already bad enough, prepare yourself for another heaping wave of desperate and knock-off poser bands who won’t get nearly as far. However in the end I think I’ll always be partially skeptical of this sound although I do enjoy it, but there’s just no way this stuff will always be so relevant. Just like any other craze, these things die down.
No matter what though, this album is still fruitful and supplies a handful of glimmering gems that will easily work their way into your head. “Amor Fati” was probably the most convincing in my situation, where endless floating vibes come off utterly satisfying in this perpetually radiant track. Not only is it an obvious standout, but it could also probably work as a single for the album. Skipping ahead to “Before”, this swirling whirlpool of textures sucks you in it’s careful vortex, where chopped vocal snippets combine together for an almost abstract sound, yet it’s far from being literally “abstract”. Another early single that was released, “You and I”, features fat and muddy bass underneath that drives this delusional track, stumbling along at a cautious and lazy pace. Creepily whispered vocals intensify the confusing vibes even more, to the point where it’s almost like being hypnotized. Come to think of it, this entire record is like being hypnotized and then brainwashed, where suddenly you find yourself aching for more “chillwave”.
Approaching the title track, this is an equally healing and spacious jam with a low flying buzz bass that resonates nicely in the hazy abyss to seal up yet another solid song. This leaves us with the closer “A Dedication”, where timeless yearning vibes look to evoke deep emotion in this shining finale. Scattered with reverberating synths and a glitchy and glowing piano, this closes out “Within and Without” with bursts of sun shining haze. Yet in the long run these crystallized gems are always going to be catchy and captivating at their core, it’s just that they easily get stale, seemingly overlap and wear out their welcome quicker than you might expect.
Eyes Be Closed –
Amor Fati –
Within and Without –
My Rating: 6.4/10
Genre/ Tags: Electronic, Synth Pop, Chillwave
Within and Without: Tracklist:
1.) Eyes Be Closed
3.) Amor Fati
5.) Far Away
7.) You and I
8.) Within and Without
9.) A Dedication
Past Related Posts:
Washed Out Live in Philadelphia w/ Small Black and Pictureplane (03/09/10)