Luomo

Paper Tigers

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

On Vladislav Delay's third Luomo album, the Finnish producer continues to push forward and vary his approach, but it's frequently at the expense of straying from his strengths. It's telling that the album's first single, "Really Don't Mind," is the one track that most resembles The Present Lover's high points; incredibly slick without being saccharine, its lithe textures and impossibly adroit rhythmic shifts are immensely pleasurable, awash in clusters of Johanna Iivanainen's cut-up cooing. "Good to Be With" is its glorified coda, the second-best track on the album. Delay, however, likely sees no point in retracing his steps for a full hour, so the rest of the album tilts heavily toward an off-putting collision between knotty IDM and Lamb's most preciously mist-pumping moments, where all the elements hover in staid suspension with little sense of development or release. "Wanna Tell" is the worst offender, stammering for nearly eight minutes. Throughout the duration of the track, there are only brief hints dropped that would normally signify an impending groove, and it winds up as the equivalent of watching a malfunctioning remote control vehicle bump repeatedly into one spot on a wall. Faring no better is "The Tease Is Over," a sickly sweet, gooey concoction destined to be licensed to at least two "After Hours Chillaxation"-type compilations -- it could cause Vanessa Daou or even Lori Carson to shudder. Add an innocuous shuffle track that's roughly four years late, as well as a couple go-nowhere instrumentals that are nearly featureless and bear little-to-no evidence of Delay's singular handiwork, and you have what might be the least appealing full-length of Delay's career. At least he hasn't lost his touch when it comes to making albums that at least sound spectacular from a production standpoint. Regardless, it might be the perfect time to lay this side of his personality to rest.

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