Molly Shea and Jason Klauber, better known as the duo Acrylics, spent the better part of two years crafting their debut album, Lives and Treasure, with three producers, resulting in a set of songs far more polished than their first EP, All of the Fire. As on that release, synth pop and soft rock dominate here, but Acrylics’ sound is much wider than those two styles -- in fact, at times it’s eclectic to the point of being scattered. Shea and Klauber's approaches are distinct; she favors shimmery electro-pop and cooing vocals that evoke Kate Bush as much as they do Olivia Newton-John, while he trades in earnest, earth-toned vocals and acoustic guitars. Most of Lives and Treasure ping-pongs between their respective styles, with her “Nightwatch” and “Sparrow Song” and his “The Window” emerging as respective highlights that nevertheless don’t feel like they belong together. However, alchemy occurs when Acrylics manage to incorporate their individual styles, as on the gossamer-smooth “Molly’s Vertigo” and “Asian Pear,” which effortlessly blends Klauber's voice and strumming into Shea's synth dream world. While Lives and Treasure is a mixed bag, it isn’t because Acrylics lack talent -- they just need to work on a more consistent presence in their music.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares