Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Kaleo – Way Down We Go

Fortunately the charts helped fill today out…


Scott Mildenhall: At the time of “Vor í Vaglaskógi” Kaleo didn’t seem likely to become such an international concern, even while it had that same austerity and uber sincerity that likely led this to get a placement in whatever ad you heard it in. (The Open University one? No, that was Tom Odell.) From that point then, this is a progression — impressive, swimming as it is in the thickest, plainest of porridges — and once it gets into its stride, it’s palatable, and not nearly as laboured as this incomplete porrdge analogy.

Thomas Inskeep: Dude, clear your throat.

Adaora Ede: This Kaleo lead singer guy sings like he’s determined to wake himself AND everyone else in the studio that this was recorded in up. We get it, you’re trying your best as Scandinavians, but you can’t force Americana where it doesn’t want to happen. I’m served more potential indie pop than anything else, but hey! dilute that pesky piano track as much as possible by hollering your best Dan Auerbach impression into the mic right? At least the benignity typical of the color-by-number Insta Billboard Alt Hit™ song structure is enough to most likely convince Hozier fans that there’s a reconditeness in Icelandic rock music. Listen to Sigur Rós instead, kids.

Brad Shoup: Recorded like they tossed a mic into the studio and yelled “smolder”.

Cassy Gress: Jökull Júlíusson has a very tight, shuddery vibrato, with the kind of temporal frequency you don’t hear much outside Ross Bagdasarian productions. It would distract from the song, but the song needs some distracting from; it plods through three and a half minutes of a thudding, repetitive chord progression and probably serves much better cut into smaller chunks and pasted into commercials.

Joshua Copperman: The whole point of a bluesy-trailer-song like this is the way it builds to an epic climax, while clips of fight scenes play from some CW show probably. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for the song to sound this loud – everything is so distorted and brickwalled that the build has zero impact, and the ending, while it isn’t bad, just sounds near-unlistenable. This is partly the band’s fault too though, as even if it had a dynamic range rating of 20, simply holding back the crash cymbal until the last third of the song does not a good arrangement make.

Alfred Soto: The dusky notes echo Bill Withers, the high ones with the silt-covered bottom Alexander O’Neal, the rest is the usual show of soul. 

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