Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Abandoned Pools “Sublime Currency”


“Sublime Currency” is the long-awaited third album from Abandoned Pools, representing a culmination of an eleven-year journey. This song collection walks us through a new chapter in the narrative of Tommy Walter, the songwriter and musician behind the band. Walter began the project in the early ‘00s after leaving the critically acclaimed alternative band The Eels.

Abandoned Pools released two highly underrated albums, 2001’s “Humanistic” and 2005’s “Armed To The Teeth”. What I’ve always loved about Abandoned Pools is Walter’s introspective lyrics and his ability to match music to the mood. This style continues despite the passage of 7 years, with the songs conveying that Walter has found solace in his faith and recent marriage. In his own words, “This record is more of a joyful record,” Tommy says. “I’m a happier person after I’ve gone through this process. I reached a low point in my life and I think my music now reveals how I overcame that. This record is about feeling like I discovered something that’s important to me.”

As with previous records, Walter balances traditional guitar-driven rock with a modest dose of electronic sounds for the atmospheric effect – kind of like a Radiohead and Erasure collaboration. However you describe it, the one thing that keeps me coming back are the catchy melodies and thoughtful words. The record begins with the splendid title track, which incorporates a little ELO and Queen in the chorus. With this song, Abandoned Pools easily convinces fans that they’ve come back with style. The driving “Hype is The Enemy” and the radio-friendly first single “Unrehearsed” keep the album engaging and moving at a good pace. Things get a little monotonous until the graceful ballad “Autopilot”, which builds quietly up to a satisfying ending. “In Silence” is a gorgeous mid-tempo composition that segues perfectly into the upbeat energy of the radiant “Marigolds”.

With only a few missteps, the benefits far outweigh the costs, making “Sublime Currency” one of the best ways to spend your dough.

Abandoned Pools – Official site.

Check out “Unrehearsed”:

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