Boards of Canada Tomorrow's Harvest

Boards of CanadaTomorrow's Harvest
Despite being on vastly different planes of popularity and genre, there are a number of parallels between Daft Punk and Boards of Canada in 2013. Both promoted their long-awaited new albums via supposedly "outdated" media; both shrouded their releases in an air of mystery by deliberately keeping mum with press; and both, oddly, are following up their most maligned releases to date. But where Daft Punk's Random Access Memories was an almost complete departure from the sound of Human After All, Boards of Canada have opted to stay the course that produced 2005's The Campfire Headphase; they've even backtracked a little. That isn't to sound disparaging, as Tomorrow's Harvest is an excellent summation of what the group have accomplished to date, retaining the tighter, more song-structured focus of Headphase ("Jacquard Causeway" and the throbbing, excellent "New Seeds") while making a slight return to the hip-hop-influenced drums that coloured their classic Music Has the Right to Children ("Nothing is Real"). Tomorrow's Harvest is quintessentially Boards of Canada (read: it's great), but by the lofty standards set by the Scottish duo, it's fairly by-the-book. There's nothing surprising or that justifies eight years of silence, so while Tomorrow's Harvest makes for a wonderful listen, and a perfect gateway album for new fans, it's not the revelation many devotees were hoping for. (Warp)