Boy in Static


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The name used by Bostonian Alexander Chen, whose main muse comes from his own habit of waking in the middle of the night and fussing about with his electronic instruments, only to return to them the next morning, hazy in what had happened in the early a.m.. Chen's second album culls from the same static coated electronic sheen and orchestral folk experiments as much of the Morr Music stable of artists. But he outdoes nearly all of them, with his rich musical textures and plaintive vocals which wash in and out through the cascade of carefully generated fuzz. The addition of a driving guitar, especially on "Kissed Under the Sun" and the title track recall the beatless poetry of My Bloody Valentine. The guitar becomes even more outstanding in the latter half of the album, as the metronomic strum is replaces by gentle chord structures on "First Words," where the scrape of fingers across the fretboard serves as the only additional (some might say primary) point of audible focus. But whether skillfully crafted on his laptop, or more digitally simplified, nothing here sounds organic; Chen makes essentially sentimental pop music for the post-everything world of today. The coat of fuzz is just an extra soft skin on fundamentally sweet fruit.

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