After taking a break from recording as Lusine to score the film projects Snow Angels, Linewatch, and The Sitter, Jeff Mcilwain returned to creating electronic music for Ghostly, for 2013's The Waiting Room. Whereas the albums prior to 2009's A Certain Distance had an understated ambient vibe, he goes for a bigger production on this outing, enlisting guest vocalists on five of the songs. On some numbers, he incorporates a clever trick, and processes the vocals so heavily that it takes the human element out of the singer's voice. Such is the case on the squishy dance beat of "Another Tomorrow," where Caitlin Sherman sounds like a robot singing through a vacuum. This little trick helps to make the radio songs like "By This Sound" fit into Lusine's digital realm and match his futuristic aesthetic. However, when Sarah Mcilwain sings on the Air-styled "Get the Message," or when Janelle Kienow lends her delicate voice to "Without a Plan," they do so cleanly and change the sound dramatically, in the way a remix might. These songs have more crossover potential and are likely influenced by Jeff Mcilwain's time working in studios for Hollywood executives. The rest of the album is more suited to the typical Ghostly fan, highlighted by instrumental beats with thumping kick drums, acidic basslines, and sparkling keyboard loops. It's fun to see him dip into a wider array of pop influences, and even the instrumentals vary from the usual IDM, minimal house, and ambient techno. "Stratus" is a rave ramp-up that runs about twice as fast as the downtempo "On Telegraph." Those looking for something more consistent should first check out the exceptional Serial Hodgepodge, but fans of the poppier side of Lusine will find this to be a nice counterpart to A Certain Distance.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover