The delicately pretty debut from Wolftron breaks few new boundaries but provides a generally palatable array of chamber pop and lush atmosphere. But its aspirations far outweigh its production, much to the detriment of its stellar singer and melodic vocal harmonies.
Fronted by 23-year-old Kenny Choi, the precocious lead singer and songwriter, Wolftron tucks a teen-drama-ready emotional openness into a heavily reverbed environment. The swishy breaths between lines on “Uglybird” are accented by the spacious recording, robbing the whispered confessional vocals of any sense of intimacy.
Despite gallants attempts at string arrangements (which largely fall flat and often tip the scale uncomfortably toward schmaltz) and lush vocal harmonies (which usually succeed), there’s of note on Flesh and Fears aside from Choi’s gorgeous, rich tenor. Sensitive but rarely cloying, Choi’s voice keeps the listener engaged even though his lyrics rarely do.
Ultimately, Wolftron’s attempts to hide slick-sheened chamber-pop sensibilities behind the more modish reverb-heavy airiness are not fully convincing. The band would benefit by simplifying the backing arrangements and production, stripping away the strings and My Morning Jacket-like reverb levels and letting its core strengths shine.