Boy Omega

The Black Tango

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Boy Omega lay out a sonically dense, hypnotic pastiche on The Black Tango. The brainchild of Martin Henrik Gustafsson, The Black Tango is awash in a thick (though quiet) mixture of acoustic and electric guitars, ambient vocals, violin and cello, and percussion. This works in a similar way to the music of Neutral Milk Hotel, with each instrument and vocal of songs like "By Midnight We'll Give It a Go" and "Somewhere I'm Human" building toward a mesmeric effect. The sum total effect of Gustafsson's vision on The Black Tango is entrancing, but insular. It's difficult, for instance, to understand what purpose short snippets like "Flames from the Black Tango" and "I Name You Isolation" serve. Yes, perhaps these short non-songs work as links to "Fetch, Boy! Fetch!," but, since they're neither tuneful or songlike, they feel more like filler. While there are a number of beautiful moments on The Black Tango, as with the lilting guitar intro on "Fetch, Boy! Fetch," Gustafsson's repetitive, ambient vocals render much of the material in the same, spacy-depressed fashion. Whatever the lyrics, they sound disheartening, as though specially written for other disheartened folks to listen to in the privacy of their rooms as they do absolutely nothing. There are many likable moments on The Black Tango, but the listener finally feels suffocated by Gustafsson's dour world-view.

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