Sunday, July 12, 2015

Indistinct Sundfor: The Silicone Veil Disappoints.

The Good: Good lyrics, Moments of voice
The Bad: Short, Instrumentally indistinct, Produced vocals
The Basics: On her third album, Susanne Sundfor goes for a bigger sound, but the result is that The Silicone Veil contains far less distinct melodies than on her earlier works.

As I explore the musical works of Susanne Sundfor, I find myself leaping forward. After listening to her debut album (reviewed here!), I was not able to get in some of her follow-ups. So, today I've been listening to The Silicone Veil (Sundfor's third album) in heavy rotation. Unfortunately, the leap between Sundfor's debut and her third album, the musical artist went in a very different direction. Instead of being piano-driven pop, The Silicone Veil is much more produced and electronic sounding.

The Silicone Veil falls more into a category of albums I lump together as indistinct. "Indistinct" albums are ones where the single tracks blend together without any of the songs standing out as solidly different from the others. While the vocals and overall sound reminded me some of Bat For Lashes's Two Suns (reviewed here!), none of the tracks on The Silicone Veil are nearly so sharp or distinctive.

With only ten tracks, clocking out at 44:25, The Silicone Veil is very short, but it represents the creative vision of Susanne Sundfor. Sundfor wrote all of the songs, provides the vocals, and plays keyboards on the songs. The only creative aspect Sundfor was not credited with is producing the album. Given that she was still working with Lars Horntvedt after five years, one assumes she was comfortable with the way he produced her tracks and album.

Vocally, The Silicone Veil represents a less ambitious approach than her prior albums. Instead of illustrating her full range, on The Silicone Veil, Susanne Sundfor explores her middle and lower registers. There are few moments that Sundfor approaches her limits in the soprano register. As well, there are fewer musical moments where Sundfor attempts to hold notes longer and be as expressive with her voice.

Instrumentally, The Silicone Veil represents Sundfor's clear departure from recognizable tunes and clear instrumentation. The Silicone Veil sounds more programmed and produced than anything that would be played. The tunes are moody and dense, as opposed to having clear melodies that accent the vocals and lyrics Sundfor is singing.

On the lyrical front, Sundfor once again excels. With lines like "Save me from his menace / What he does is a venial sin / He is a god within / Oh, save me from his menace / He peeled off every vein i had / 'Till there was nothing left / But a bloodless heart" ("Among Us"), Sundfor illustrates a stronger sense of diction, imagery and mood than most contemporary artists. Alas, despite the relative quality of Sundfor's lyrics, on The Silicone Veil, her lines are produced over by the instrumental accompaniment.

Ultimately, after twelve spinnings of The Silicone Veil, I found it to be mostly auditory mush and an album that did not hold up well. Despite my disappointment with the album overall, I looked into the music videos produced for the album. "The Silicone Veil" has one of the most horrific and troubling music videos I have ever watched; I do not recommend it, nor do I recommend the album.

The best track is "Rome," the rest of the album is pretty much one blend.

For works by other, former, Artists Of The Month, please check out my reviews of:
Any Day Now - Joan Baez
Vespertine - Bjork
Britney Jean (Deluxe) - Britney Spears


For other music reviews, please check out my Music Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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