Despite the fact that I am about 3 weeks late, I feel as though I need to get a word in on Milky Chance’s “Blossom”. It’s been important to me this last month, and so regardless of timeframe, I think it’s necessary I review it.
Every couple of months my playlists become tired, and every song I’ve spent countless months listening to becomes vanilla, and I fall into a black hole of familiarity.
I feel like since the beginning of 2017, I haven’t come across anything that I’ve truly loved. There have been some really solid LP’s, from Dirty Projectors’ self titled work, to Mother Mother’s “No Culture”, as well as new work from Said The Whale, Khalid, and Thundercat. These records have produced some great music, but nothing has been able to truly capture my mind and get me excited about listening and writing about music.
But at a time where seemingly nothing was sparking my interest “Blossom” barged into my soul full throttle. It has acted as an important motivator, not only through sheer enjoyment and excitement to listen to, but as a piece of work that has inspired me to write, and play music.
Initially, I was quick to dismiss Milky Chance when they first came on the scene in 2013. “Stolen Dance” got annoying really quick after garnering mass radio play, and that was enough to deter me from engaging with their album. I’m not sure what changed in 2017, perhaps some growth as a human, perhaps some desperation, but regardless of the reason, Milky Chance sold me.
From the get go of the LP, a smooth blend of European folk and dance music gives “Blossom” its respiratory system. The melodies and instrumental arrangements are built around really smooth guitar lines, and danceable rhythms, while they perfectly blend their electronic capabilities and smooth production with live instrumentation. Clemens Rehbein’s raspy and unique voice converges perfectly with nearly every aspect of the record that culminates in a sophomore record that is sure to bring future success.
“Blossom” “Ego” and “Firebird” all feel like very similar beasts. All three of these songs offer danceable rhythms with really good guitar work, and each chorus is simple and very catchy. Milky Chance seldom settle in these songs, and you’re rewarded with a guitar line that eithe further enhances the pre chorus, or chorus. I think “Blossom” is the best of the bunch, but all three could’ve been the album opener.
Now, as someone who listens more for catchy and fresh instrumentation, lyrics are often lost on me. I listen to the vocal melodies of course, but song meaning and story telling is less important to me than overall feels, and vibes.
“Blossom” has a very summertime vibe, whether it be by the campfire or driving down the road at 2 am blasting music; it all fits. When you close your eyes, you can feel the tropical vibes on tracks like “Cold Blue Rain” and “Bad Things”.
“Cold Blue Rain” is very reminiscent of a Cage the Elephant song for me. From the southern vibe to the lyrical delivery, it certainly seems like there was some inspiration there. Not to say that should deter you from listening, as Milky Chance still adds their imprint with an awesome harmonica melody.
“Bad Things” took a while to stick out to me, but on my latest listen, I realized how golden this track is. No song captures the dreamy and tropical vibe of the album better than this one, and the chemistry on the duet, is sure to resonate with most listeners. You can really feel the passion and overall energy throughout the song, and for that matter, the entire album.
Album highlights come by way of the radio friendly, and poppy “Cocoon”. The pop structure is harnessed and manipulated to perfection as we get this incredibly catchy chorus, with squeaky clean production and a wonderful guitar melody. My personal favourite “Losing You”, is simple, catchy, and when it comes down to it, awe inspiring. Space is given to the listener throughout the track, and when ready, Milky Chance bestows this immaculate guitar solo that will send anyone into a different universe. Next time you’re feeling blue, and need a pick me up, give “Losing You” a listen.
There are no album lowlights, as it plays well throughout. There are, of course, songs that don’t necessarily stand out, but they all work within the album and there is nothing worth skipping. Thematically and sonically, the album is cohesive and beautifully produced. The instrumentation is refreshing and inspired, and the vocal delivery will please you whether or not you’re big on lyrics.
Listen to this album please. It’s one of the best 2017 has to offer so far.