Reviews Blueneck Repetitions



I wanted to write an introduction that accurately conveyed the sound of Blueneck's new album Repetitions, but my editor wouldn't let me write in size 2 font. Stupid "legibility" rules.

I'm not kidding about the comparison, though; Blueneck's brand of post-rock is even lighter than Sigur Rós, featuring incredibly minimalist instrumental and vocal arrangements. Sure, the pieces swell and (eventually) get louder, but this album leaves me suspecting that the band has a chronic fear of long exposure to dynamics louder than mezzo piano. Though this makes the music very unassuming, it also allows the band to play with a level of delicacy and intimacy that is rarely seen in rock music. I find myself mentally comparing this record to A Silver Mt. Zion's He Has Left Us Alone... in that regard--the vocals are just as heartfelt, and the music is every bit as reverent and soulful. It's not boring, but it also doesn't overexert itself to grab your attention. It can be somewhat trying in that regard, as giving it an attentive listen is incredibly difficult, but even if you let it slip as background music, it's incredibly calming and relaxing to listen to.

One thing I especially appreciate is that the strings are used sparsely rather than abused. This greatly heightens their effectiveness; tracks like "Ellipsis" would not be nearly as beautiful or standout if the rest of the album was beating us overhead in the same way. Even "Pneumothorax" mixes the strings down to the background just a skosh (yes, only one skosh), and the whole piece sounds that much more effective as a result.

The only thing I find difficult with this album is that listening to it through in one sitting can be a bit anticlimactic. There doesn't seem to be too much attention paid to the album format with this record, so listening the whole thing can be a bit monotonous, especially given Blueneck's unusually strong ligyrophobia. When the louder, more attention-grabbing parts do come up, they tend not to stay around for very long, either. Individually, the songs are each fantastic, but this is a rare case where the whole is not quite as strong as the sum of its parts.

If you're a fan of the lighter end of post-rock, you should definitely listen to Repetitions. If you prefer the louder, more dynamic music like Mogwai or Long Distance Calling, you may not enjoy this one as much, but I still suggest you give it a chance.

7.0 / 10Sarah
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