Friday, August 10th, 2018

Gentle Robot – Slow

And from a ~~sad robot~~ to a gentle one.


Abdullah Siddiqui: Pakistani art has had a rich history of underground and locally rooted cultural productions, despite a lack of institutional, economic or social nourishment. It is an uphill battle to gain visibility. In 2018, when water resources are expected to last another seven years, and children are taught revisionist propaganda in schools, the need for music has never been more urgent. The music industry, however, is not, and can not be, prioritized on a larger socioeconomic scale, and given the necessary financial and bureaucratic infrastructure. In the absence of infrastructure, the Pakistani music industry was essentially bought out by the Coca-Cola Company, whose Coke Studio provides great content, but allows little room for innovation. That’s why, when the burgeoning independent music scene produces something as beautiful as “Slow,” it makes me so much happier than the average Coke Studio number, because it signals hope for a future where the necessary tools and platforms exist for people like Ibrahim Imdad to create whatever they want to create, and for thoughtful art to be disseminated to a wide, willing audience with no strings attached. Imdad has been around for quite a while, as part of multiple bands. All of his releases so far, as Gentle Robot, have been beautiful and subtle and cleverly composed, and I hope they continue to be. It may sound like I love this song only for the sense of hope it invokes in me. That may be true to a degree, I don’t know. But I’d like to think that I can remove myself from the equation enough to know that it really is just a damn good song.

Nortey Dowuona: Flat, empty drum stabs follow a wispy, dreamy guitar and near invisible bass played by Adeel Tahir as Gentle Robot dreamily coos a new world into existence.

Alfred Soto: Sad robot love to the accompaniment of Ocean Blue guitar ripples. Its ambition is to lull.

Edward Okulicz: I can attest that this song really did lull me to sleep once, on an international flight, though it could have been the combination of ZzzQuil and antihistamines. I like the mumbly indie/dream-pop amalgam of the first half a lot for that, and for the pretty melody. It gently floats by and I pick out individual words without forming any sentences or meaning — an unusual sensation for a song in English. When the falsetto comes in, it loses the lovely dreamlike quality that calmed me, and stopped sounding effortless and lovely, as if it builds to an emotional climax because that’s what songs do, not because the song itself naturally would go in that direction.

Jessica Doyle: I like the switches between different textures, as the waves of the first half yield to a chunkier rhythm, the voice staying precariously balanced on top throughout. My one complaint is with the lyrics: impending loss of love, and worlds changing, seem like distractingly weighty subjects to consider as we drift along.

Will Adams: Sad, soft-focus indie rock of the sort I loved in my youth, before I’d entered the critical world and discovered the genre to be shrouded in layers of Discourse. The slight funk shift that happens midway through is less successful but at the least makes for an interesting arc.

Katherine St Asaph: Perfectly functional deep-concentration-playlist-indie until the end, when it threatens to turn into “BedRock,” and that sort of thing ain’t my grocery bag.

Reader average: [9] (6 votes)

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One Response to “Gentle Robot – Slow”

  1. I’m glad I at least mustered something decent to say about this because my initial blurb was something like “This is Life Is Strange-wave and therefore I like it”