Crystal Sounds

Crystal Sounds

Self-recorded and produced in Crystal Sounds’ home studio, the self-titled title track opens with sweeping melodies and a crystalline mix that sounds like the expensive production associated with most top-shelf Britpop. Will South’s androgynous inflections flirt with Thom Yorke-flavored melancholy on standout tune “The Loneliest Star” providing a nice contrast to the song’s catchy chorus and upbeat vibe. Fans of Coldplay might warm up to the interplay between the thoughtful piano arrangements and slick guitar lines on “Home,” while the subdued sequencers and drum machines on “Suddenly” work well against the grain of a more organic-sounding slide guitar. “After the Retreat” is one of those lighter-hoisting ballads capable of taming the bloodthirsty urges of smartly dressed football hooligans, but South sounds most at home in the impassioned “Out There,” a minimally architected song with light piano touches and lush string arrangements which, when joined by Smith’s earnest coos, could easily come off sounding like overblown melodrama if sung by anybody else.

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