Darkstar Foam Island

Darkstar Foam Island
6
The idea behind Darkstar's Foam Island is interesting, even if it's been done before. Sandwiched between nearly every track are short one- or two-minute spoken-word interludes, taken from an assortment of characters, all providing commentary on community, society at large and personal gains and losses. What these tracks end up doing, though, is creating a gulf between themselves and the rest of the album; they're isolated, interruptive and ineffective at providing a narrative.
 
The tracks that manage to develop in between vary significantly, and often leave a lot to be desired. Tracks like single "Pin Secure," with its slow blips and flighty synths, and the beautifully unsettling "Tilly's Theme," rife with cello, exemplify the peak of Darkstar's craft, but the remainder, like "Through the Motions" and "Foam Island" feel grossly out of place and underdeveloped. Foam Island is a patchwork album that never ends up feeling quite settled. (Warp)