I mentioned last week or so that Plastic Tree’s new album was due out while I was at NYAF, and now that I’m home I’ve finally got a chance to listen to it. This does not resemble a coherent review or anything, but I do have some quick reactions on the new tracks that I can share. These are pretty much stream-of-consciousness, which may give you a clear idea of why I do not usually allow myself to write that way. Also, keep in mind that these impressions are based on music only, as I haven’t read any translations yet. And so…
The title track sounded a bit muddy to me the first time around on my speakers at home, suddenly seems inspired and nicely dense today. “Tetris” has really great energy, and is the kind of track that immediately pulls me in. “Replay,” which was not extremely memorable as a single, works really well in the context of the album. “Melt” is nicely dark, guitars a little heavy for the song I think, but the ethereal vocals in the chorus save it for me. “Dummy Box” and “Q” kind of faded into the background while I was doing other things, but often that just means they need a deeper listen later on. “Fiction” is pretty, with an interesting mix of influences, which is something I always like. “Shayou” is melodic and interesting. “Gekko Overhead” will end up being a favorite, I think. I’m feeling a vibe there, kind of a cross between Ok Go and Margot & the Nuclear So-and-So’s. The next couple of tracks faded into the background again, until the opening tones of “Alone Again, Wonderful World” began, and much like “Replay,” I found this song more effective in the context of the album than I had on its own as a single. “Kiokuyuki” is a nice enough pop ballad, which isn’t resonating strongly with me right now, but that could just be my mood. It gets more compelling around the bridge, though I think it falls apart a bit at the end. “Closer” is… hmmm… I think this will grow on me.
ETA: Adding to the “favorites” list after additional listens: “Closer” and “Balloon.”
Overall, I think this may be a more cohesive album than Nega to Poji was, though not as many songs have grabbed me right away. I’m sure my reactions are somewhat influenced, though, by the fact that I’ve been playing Toroimerai on repeat pretty obsessively lately for some reason, so I’m leaning more towards tracks with that kind of sound, and there aren’t a lot of them on this album.
Album available now at Yes Asia.