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Phantogram - Eyelid Movies Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8.25
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 7.25
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 80%
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Inside AP.net

Phantogram - Eyelid Movies

Reviewed by: Jeremy Aaron (02/06/10)
Phantogram - Eyelid Movies
Record Label: Barsuk
Release Date: February 9, 2010

Who?

Phantogram are, for lack of a better description, an electronic duo from Saratoga Springs, NY. Eyelid Movies is their debut full-length.

How Is It?

When they announced their signing with Barsuk Records late last year, I thought it a strange partnership. Phantogram, whose ghostly name befits the haunting music they create, didn't seem to fit in on the label who gave Rilo Kiley and Death Cab for Cutie their starts and who still houses acts like Mates of State and Rocky Votolato. Not exactly trip-hop, dream pop or alt-dance, their music combines elements of each, backboned by sampled beats and complemented by Sarah Barthel's keyboard, Josh Carter's guitar and a dual vocal approach, led primarily by Barthel, whose voice has the detached melancholy of Beth Gibbons and Hope Sandoval.

When all of it's parts are firing on all cylinders, the results are nothing short of astounding. On the album's best tune "As Far as I Can See", the addictive rhythm is an immediate attention grabber, the shimmery guitar is drenched in reverb and Barthel's vocal is equal parts brooding and sensual. It's the most stunning example of Phantogram's ability to craft creepy and affecting music, but there are highlights all over the album. Carter handles much of the vocals on "Futuristic Casket", which also throws a hip-hop pulse into the mix, adding a sinister edge to their eerie sound. He's also the voice behind "Turn It Off", which toys with complex time signatures, to interesting effect.

There's very little here to find fault with; a slow burner like "All Dried Up" might not be as immediate a some of the other songs here, but it's still penetrating, and fits in well with the album as a whole. There's a variety of sounds and beats to be found, but the overall effect throughout is primarily spooky, ethereal, and as the title Eyelid Movies would suggest, dreamlike. Phantogram have put forth a collection of heady and stimulating songs primed for in-the-dark listening.

For Fans Of: Portishead, Air and Mazzy Star

Track Listing1. Mouthful of Diamonds (4:13)
2. When I'm Small (4:09)
3. Turn It Off (4:01)
4. Running From the Cops (3:57)
5. All Dried Up (3:46)
6. As Far as I Can See (3:29)
7. You Are the Ocean (5:49)
8. Bloody Palms (3:31)
9. Futuristic Casket (3:37)
10. Let Me Go (4:25)
11. 10,000 Claps (3:30)


LinksCheck out Phantogram on Myspace and last.fm.
Preview/Buy the album at Amazon MP3.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
08:41 PM on 02/06/10
#2
BehcetWilliam
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Amazing!
10:56 PM on 02/06/10
#3
gr33ndayfr3ak
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This isn't really my type of music, but I heard "Mouthful of Diamonds" a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. The album didn't strike me as well that special, but definitely not bad.
Great, concise review. I definitely agree with the score.
12:19 PM on 02/07/10
#4
joexfm
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saw these guys open last night for minus the bear. they were so on. this cd is def one to get
01:07 PM on 02/07/10
#5
saysmydoctor
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Capital District pride!
01:43 PM on 02/07/10
#6
Jeremy Aaron
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Capital District pride!
Fuckin'-A right. Did you catch them opening for MTB Friday night at Northern Lights? Pretty trippy live.
02:21 PM on 02/07/10
#7
doppelganger
katy song
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amazing album!! better than 80% for sure
02:48 PM on 02/07/10
#8
InBetweenAisles
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Awesome album and an awesome review.
02:59 PM on 02/07/10
#9
saysmydoctor
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Fuckin'-A right. Did you catch them opening for MTB Friday night at Northern Lights? Pretty trippy live.
I couldn't make it, but I almost did.
07:23 PM on 02/07/10
ZWarner
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I didn't even know that these guys were locals until minus the bear lol, kinda bad
08:38 PM on 02/07/10
con40dmitri
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saw these guys in brooklyn..really cool stuff - higly recommended (especially frsit 2 tracks)!
02:48 PM on 02/09/10
robhimself
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saw them open for minus the bear on feb. 4th, not bad but definately didnt make sense to put them between maps & atlases and minus the bear....
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