Alex Smoke Love Over Will

Over

There seems to be a point for some producers where the beats just
aren’t enough. From Calvin Harris and James

Blake to a raft of EDM overindulgence, the transition to the microphone isn’t always a smooth one.

Not that it’s deterred Glasgow’s Alex Menzies.
After vocal dabbles on previous releases, this time his voice is the prevalent,
shifting feature throughout ‘Love Over Will’.

It emerges as a vocoded baritone on ‘Fair is Foul’, feels
mournful and monastic on ‘All My Atoms’, and becomes dark and
jumbled on ‘Manacles’.

But even with that variety, it’s a forced emphasis that feels like an
unnecessary distraction.

It’s on vocal-less tracks like ‘Love Over Will’ and ‘Star At The Summit’ that
Menzies’ curious fusion of impressively intricate electronica stands out,

but when he finds the balance, as he does on the knotty layers of ‘LossGain’ and the stripped back minimalism of ‘Astar Mara’,

a cut in the 13-strong tracklist could have given ‘Love Over Will’ the focus and clarity it lacks. Some things are better left unsung.

Knight’s third album sets us adrift in a sea of opulent, folksypop. It might be short, running a shade over thirty minutes, but in just eight tracks he packs together the bittersweet melancholia of Sufjan Stevens

(‘St. Christina’), the lush arrangements of Andrew Bird (‘What Light (Never Goes Dim)’) and the wistful vocals of Jeff Buckley (‘All Clear’).

It pays off on Knight’s early promise, showing that while he might
not be as prolific as his contemporaries,

he’s more than their musical equal. “I know there’s power left in the way we sing to each other”

he on standout track ‘Funeral Singers’: ‘Each Other’ proof positive
that sentiment is true, just as 2012’s ‘Small Reveal’ was so apt a title.

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