Gold Panda Half of Where You Live

Gold PandaHalf of Where You Live
Riding the tail of his brilliant Trust EP, Gold Panda's second full-length comes with expectations. Half of Where You Live is an exploration of new landscapes, of the subtleties and complexities of unfamiliar environments, setting itself up as a varied, collective second album offering. What stands out noticeably on Half of Where You Live, however, is the blandness of it all. Many of the tracks lack the capacity to stand alone or act as singles ("My Father in Hong Kong 1961" or "S950," for example). Rather, the "city album" attempts to highlight cultural divides, but only breaks the monotony on a few tracks. The surreal strings on "We Work Nights," the doubled percussion on "An English House" and the sultry, repetitive warble on closer "Reprise" give the release a much needed kick, but Half of Where You Live still lacks the strength it needs. (Ghostly International)