Oct 132010
Authors: Nic Turiciano

Deerhunter is the musical equivalent of responsible drinking. They know when it’s acceptable to indulge and, more importantly, when it’s not.

This quality has carried over from 2008s “Microcastle,” but this time around, there is more breadth to Deerhunter’s sound. The songs on “Halcyon Digest” are all wrapped up in delayed, pitch bent and reverb laden instrumentals.

Notable are the new sounds incorporated throughout “Halcyon Digest.” It’s impressive how they’ve managed to keep their subdued yet distinct sound while introducing fresh ideas.

The album opener, “Earthquake,” starts off with a reverse looped drumbeat while pitch-bent acoustic guitar, various string instruments and even saxophone can be found on the album.

All of this variety creates a deeply textured listen, but the songs are so similar in composition and style that “Halcyon Digest” works exceedingly well as an album to listen to in its entirety.

Almost every track on “Halcyon Digest” can be described as enjoyable, and each song is, at the very least, listenable. But a couple stand out.

The first single and album-highlight, “Helicopter,” plays off one of Deerhunter’s catchiest guitar lines on top of delayed drum loop.

The effect is beautiful and enveloping. Singer Bradford Cox’s vocals are placed right in the center as he coos about God, the devil and death.

“Desire Lines” is another standout with a bright guitar line that matches the optimistic lyrics well. The song’s end is similar to that of the “Microcastle” standout “Nothing Ever Happened,” with a lengthy instrumental build that works because of perfectly timed variations.

“Halcyon Digest” proves that even in an age of shrinking attention spans and single-obsessed listeners, there’s still a place for the musical-album-as-experience.

Music reviewer Nic Turiciano can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:28 pm

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