Looper

Offgrid:Offline

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AllMusic Review by

After taking some time off to pursue artistic endeavors not related to music, Stuart and Karn David restarted Looper in 2014 to begin work on two projects, a career-spanning box set called These Things and a new album, Offgrid:Offline. The time off seems to have reinvigorated the duo, giving their music some depth and focus that previous releases sometimes lacked. Mostly a very quiet, peaceful set of songs with a strong indie folk influence, the album seeps into the listener's consciousness after a few spins, with only "Farfisa Song" having the jaunty bounce of their classic early songs like "Mondo '77." Most of the album is fixed securely in the midtempo range, with strummed guitars and warm electronics balanced against tambourines and live-sounding drums. Songs like "Oh, Skinny Legs" and "What If...?" sound like the work of a canny old songwriter and "The Lucky Bird" is one Stuart's old band might have liked to have on its most recent album; Offgrid:Offline is the closest Looper have come to writing traditional indie pop songs yet. There are a couple of long spoken word pieces, the sad piano-led title track and "Images of the Shipwreck," both of which are more affecting and sweetly melancholic than similar tracks Stuart has written in the past. His words throughout have an elegiac quality that matches the deep feelings the music conjures up and makes this the first Looper album that is more about emotion than experimentation, which makes Offgrid:Offline the first Looper album that goes beyond being clever and hits on something real.

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