Au Both Lights

AuBoth Lights
Portland duo AU have more ideas than songs on their third album. Both Lights is an incredibly messy record that doesn't know what it wants to be, and that makes it a frustrating listen that occasionally suggests greatness. On paper, this should be a great album: Luke Wyland's voice has the type of range that can effortlessly soar above the music; Dana Valatka's time with Jackie O Motherfucker has given him the ability to change styles at the drop of a hat; and they even have Colin Stetson onboard with his saxophone. But it isn't. The good thing is that every track is infused with frenetic energy, which gives them a certain amount of appeal, but the constant shifts in mood are unsettling, even if there are some wonderful isolated moments. "Get Alive" captures some of the magic that Sufjan Stevens once possessed, and there are quite a few nods in the direction of Animal Collective, like "Solid Gold." Both Lights fails to hold together because of its numerous failed lines of attack, which undermine the goodness. (Hometapes)