As I began to lose myself in the hazy electronic drone of Blue Sky Black Death, I wondered when its beats were going to kick into something more sinister. The overall feel of Slow Burning Lights is like a Twilight Singers record without the jaded commentary. There is a positive, wide-streaming feel here, but one that lacks the bite needed to sustain an entire record.
Individually, many of the songs are striking — trip-hop beats meet ambient pulse on “Secrets” and “Hot Night,” dreamscapes that hum along quietly. But taken as a whole, the ten-track set lacks variation and emotional punch. The repetition is a shame, really, since some listeners might have already moved on before hearing songs like “Pretend” and “The Darkest Time,” tracks that close the record and are among the more satisfying here.
The members of Blue Sky Black Death are adept at creating dense soundscapes that are uplifting and broad in their tones and pulses. That said, even when the duo is joined by vocalist Yes Alexander — whose smooth, ethereal contribution drifts above the mix, providing grounding but little power —
Slow Burning Lights creates a world that’s dense but unvaried. Within the songs there is power, but this record sees beauty only from one angle.