Monday, February 20, 2012

Album Review: Memoryhouse - The Slideshow Effect

Album Rating: B
After dabbling in ambience and dream pop, it should come as no surprise that Toronto based band, Memoryhouse, have once again reinvented their craft...albeit only slightly.  And while the lush melodies and relaxed beats of The Years made for a wonderful release, the band displayed a need to project themselves further than the confines of the devisive "chillwave" scene allowed.  Thus, The Slideshow Effect came into being; an album that truly shows that Memoryhouse are indeed a band who are not afraid to explore and expand.

The Slideshow Effect, for all intents and purposes, is a pop album through and through.  Picking up where 2010's EP left off, Memoryhouse have taken the chilled feel and warped it into something more extraoridinary.  It's a dreamy affair for sure, which has always been the draw to the band, but the added emphasis on cohesive, traditional songwriting is incredibly welcome.  Vocals play a much larger role than before, despite being a little underwhelming in regards to compelling delivery.  However, the tone of the vocals is absolutely beautiful and mesh perfectly with the mood and feel of the record as a whole.

The album opens up the with serene vocals and soft percussion, leading into a very subtle stringed instrument.  This is about as wild as The Slideshow Effect gets, and frankly, it's sublime this way.  Memoryhouse have crafted pop in their image; beautiful vocals ebbing against the flow of lush rock melodies.  When they do happen to pick up the pace and throw in some "pizzaz," mixed results arise.  Songs like "The Kids Were Wrong" have a very upbeat sound, but the typically lax vocals sound flat in comparison to the dynamic instrumentation.  A small complaint for sure, but the ensuing dichotomy is definitely noticeable.

The Slideshow Effect is the album Memoryhouse needed make to show the world what they're capable off.  The album is a lush marriage of indie rock and pop, and a beautiful album overall.  Few bands can make the transition from one pre-set sound to another as well as Memoryhouse have, which is exactly why The Slideshow Effect deserves all the attention it can get.


1. Little Expressionless Animals
2. The Kids Were Wrong
3. All Our Wonder
4. Punctum
5. Heirloom
6. Bonfire
7. Pale Blue
8. Walk With Me
9. Kinds of Light
10. Old Haunts

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