Angelides said he wanted this album to be more sweeping and emotional, rather than the exercise in pure sound design his last album was, and he achieves that. The sombre, creaking piano ambiance of "Tamara" sounds like it was a borrowed sketch from Kid Koala's Space Cadet project, while "Combustion" captures some of the resounding existential massiveness of Ben Frost. "Blue and Grey" incorporates strings and piano into its percolating texture of finger snaps and water drops, his voice distanced.
It doesn't always work, though. In context, the cheesiness of "Mind of War" sticks out like a sore thumb, utilising the kind of weird '80s sound palette you'd expect from Yeasayer, while "The Sun is a Drum" sounds a bit like watered down Orbital and the unnecessary lyrics of "Can't Taste" taint an otherwise sublime track, like putting nacho cheese on caviar. Overall, while it does appear as though Angelides has been bitten by the sophomore album slump, there are some significant moments here that show an artist growing into something bigger and better than ever before. (Apollo)