The Velvet Teen All is Illusory

The Velvet Teen All is Illusory
7
The Velvet Teen's first four releases, from 2000-2002, were their take on emo of the day; then, they audaciously leapt from the pretty bass, strings, brass and piano of Elysium (2004) to the erratic, progressive electronic foray Cum Laude! (2006) — the band's most experimental work to date and their last full-length. Nine years later, the Velvet Teen return with their fourth full-length.

All is Illusory sounds like the band are finally settling down. Their newest offering combines the band's established delicate, refined sensibility ("The Giving In") with flourishes of synth ("Pecos") and a dose of their indie rock inclinations ("Eclipses," the album's highlight). It's a combination of the sounds they explored on past albums, and the lack of cohesion makes it slightly less effective than those singularly focused experiments.

Still, it's a sign of consistency from the band, and fans will appreciate the usual stylized sentimentality (Judah Nagler's vocal abilities make him a suitable candidate for a sing-off with Matt Bellamy) and the fact that even their more intricate, experimental songs go down easy. (Topshelf)