Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#12 Album Of 2010: Similes - Eluvium


Temporary Residence

Original SCQ Review

I’ve no emo back-story or real-life anecdote to disclose: Similes is inherently difficult to talk about. What’s so intangible to its eight pieces, their murky disposition through which Matthew Cooper radiates his crystalline piano compositions, and how do they further Eluvium’s ethereal qualities when many of them take enlist vocals and verse/chorus arrangements? True beauty cannot be entirely familiar and that’s what renders Similes so devastating; even the most ear-pleasing progressions of ‘The Motion Makes Me Last’ or ‘Making Up Minds’ tightrope over a chasm of soft electronics falling by the wayside. The blur of their slow decline creates Similes' ambience, so earthy and contemplative, making each listen an introspective score for naval-gazing.

No, Similes hardly requires any emotional backdrop to resonate. Its setting, buried deep in Cooper’s thick production and vocal layers, speaks for itself but broadly welcomes us to personify it as our own. When Cooper sings “I’m a vessel between two places I’ve never been,” he’s at once pinpointing Similes limbo and luring us along with him. For forty-two minutes, Eluvium provides an alternative level of existence.

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