Right around the mid-point of Lair – after the ambient electronic sounds of the first three tracks give way to two organic ones featuring guitars and piano, respectively, that in turn get washed down with a found-sound pastiche – you’re probably going to wonder what the hell is going on with this album. I did. Sadly, repeated listens didn’t produce any insights. If there’s an underlying theme to the songs found here, it’s beyond me.
That said, Lair isn’t really a bad collection of songs, just a frustrating one to discuss. It’s hard to explain artists’ sounds or influences when they can’t seem to figure that out for themselves. Brush, a Seattle native, seems to have pieced together half-abandoned ideas from several different projects he had in mind. What we end up with is a somewhat engaging but ultimately scattershot mosaic of his artistic vision. Electronic soundscapes, lo-fi acoustic strumming, alarm-clock samples and Celtic string sections combine – sometimes all in the same track – to create a disjointed mess. It’s not hard to see why this album was put out independently by Brush; marketing it would be a record label’s worst nightmare.
Like I said before, Lair isn’t a bad collection of songs. It is, however, a failure as an album, lacking any flow or cohesion. It’s too bad, really. Brush seems talented enough; he just needs to learn to channel his efforts.
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