Sunday, April 14, 2013

AP Album Review: Titanics - "Soft Treasure"

"Soft Treasure", the name of Titanics latest album is an apt one as the songs contained within smoothly caress your senses in a cool chill wave of indie pop and ambient bliss. Titanics is Mark Lombardo's brainchild and his smooth vocals that contribute heavily to the sound are stirred well into his lush mix of synthesizers and beats. Derek Rogers provides some potent guitar work on songs like Cars, Low Frames and Two Days. These tracks have a very cool vibe and a decidedly retro 80's pop feel like they could of been in a John Hughes film while teenagers navigate their messy lives. In this sense, Titanics sometimes feels like a loving homage to a more romantic time. I also get this sense when I listen to Future Islands and to some degree, Sam Flax (although his brand of retro almost jazz rock feels a bit more kitschy to me). Down On The Bottom feels so free and easy as to be a slow motion glide on on a perfect wave... "liquid resolve and we stay with our limbs cut down"- This song in particular feels like it has a story arc of sorts and the abstract yet emotionally sung lyrics beg you for the back story. The dreamy ending is so damn engaging.

There is a fair amount of straight instrumental ambient compositions on this album. Table Bet glides into a really slick dreamy vibe. Sounds a bit mysterious with a hint of danger around it's corners. Treasuresoft is a constant slow build of synths and feels like a fluid interlude. Yoota gets you lost in it's repetitive piano riff with an electronic beat holding it down. It meanders a bit but in a good way. Clouds, Ponds, Myths has three distinct sections as the name suggests and Lombardo creates some evocative sounds to be sure but (to me) while many sections work well- as one continual sound bed it feels less cohesive than it should.

Soft Treasure is an earnest piece of ambient work full of songs that make you want to submit to it's sense of tranquility while pulling on your surreal side. Many of the songs will certainly grow on you, embrace you fully. In a world full of head banging and moshing, it begs you to keep the dance gentle and introspective.

Robb Donker

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