Elaquent The Midnight After

Elaquent The Midnight After
After taking time out last summer to offer listeners a summary rundown of his diverse skill set, with the impressive Persona, eclectic beat smith Elaquant returns with an effort in The Midnight After that, while more sonically focused, is certainly no less adventurous. Loose-fitting rhythms expand and contract to hold the expansive array of synthesized lushness that runs right through eQ's space-bound creations, from the extraterrestrial "Digital Moon" and classic-meets-synth era jazz collage "Appointment in Crime Alley" to fanciful nature ode "Selina Kyle." Trickles of West coast funk can also be felt amongst the layers upon layers of the record's intricate sound splashes, as on "Smooth Sailing," "1986" and blissful soul-tickler "Unconditional." Conversely, the album's few lyrical efforts offer more of a mixed bag, with the title track featuring a few too many competing elements, while the laidback "Ready To Go" manages a far better music/vocal balance on a record that, apart from that minor flaw, impresses at nearly every turn. (HuhWhat&Where)