> > Nov 14 2012

Fairmont - Automaton
By Philip James de VriesThis is Canadian electronic musician Jake Fairley's first full-length album as Fairmont since 2007's Coloured in Memory. Whereas Coloured was a body of more techno-inspired electronic work, Automaton sees Fairley working his pop side, featuring his unique vocals on almost every track. The album evokes a very '80s aesthetic ("Creatures of Night," for example, is melodically similar to a number of works from the Cure) and many of the drum sounds are produced with heavy reverb and similar textural styles of that infamous '80s sound. At times, Fairmont's melodic nostalgia works very well ("Waiting"), though there is an unavoidable cheesiness to parts of the album's dominant style ("Last Dance," "Slowing Down"). Occasionally, Fairmont regresses into abstract sounds similar to those heard on Coloured ("Fate" is arguably the album's strongest track, playing off of Fairley's strengths in less pop-oriented, eerie vocal work), though Automaton as a whole may be a bit of a challenge to digest for those who are unable to see past the shallower aspects of the album's immediate sound.
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