Thursday, May 21, 2009


Swoon is the new release by Silversun Pickups.

I've listened to the entire album* every night for the last week. I take the iPod to bed with me and fall off to sleep shortly afterwards. The soundscape produced by the lush mix is hypnotic. This is not New Age music. Swoon rocks hard. The tracks are heavy on drums and bass. The structure of each song is not limited to theme and variation on a single groove in the style of, say, a band like Spoon. The sound is thickly layered, yet each instrument has clarity. maintaining a crispness where one would expect a muddy result. Swoon is an amazing audio engineering feat. The music is good, too. It is composed, not simply written.

This is one of those albums that need to by listened to from start to finish in one sitting and with headphones or earbuds. Listening to one track off your car's Sirius XM radio will probably leave you cold as will iTune's 30-second sample. I would not recommend playing Swoon at a lively party. It won't make you want to get up and dance This is music that requires your attention.

In all aspects, Swoon is a work of art.

*albums get there name from the days when a recorded body of work, like a symphony, required multiple 78 rpm records. The discs came stored in a bound volume of sleeves that resembled a photo album.

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