The Airborne Toxic Event (Deluxe Edition)
It wasn’t Mikel Jollett’s job as a music critic that inspired him to start making his own music so much as it was a grip of adversity; in one week his girlfriend dumped him, his mom found out she had cancer and he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that caused him spot baldness and skin depigmentation. The Airborne Toxic Event was born as Jollett’s cathartic vehicle. The quintet’s self-titled debut rocks with catchy song hooks and a commercial alternative radio familiarity that’s sure to hit home with fans of Joy Division, Interpol, The Strokes and Arcade fire – though opening cut “Wishing Well” has Jollett’s impassioned inflections sounding uncannily similar to Conor Oberst, replete with a quivering timbre and impressive literary lyrics. And it sounds again like there's a different singer on “Papillon” where Jollett downshifts from tenor to baritone with shaky Ian Curtis modulations. “Sometime Around Midnight” is a standout with lush strings leading into electric guitars and Jollett settling into his own unaffected voice.