Baths’ “Cerulean” is probably my favourite album of 2010. Actually, it’s up for the running as one of my favourite albums ever – it being a strong contender with Phoenix’s 2009 “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.” But, the odd thing about this is, if you’ve listened to the Podcast? Episode #4 where we talked about Baths, you’ll know that the release of “Cerulean,” or at least what’s out there on the interwebs of it, is extremely disjointed and mixed up. The short of it is, I’m not 100% sure how to review this since some of my favourite songs from my version of the album aren’t actually on the album. So in my hardest effort to give our readers — Ben, Ryan — the true, informed assessment of this thing here, I’ll have to ignore stuff like “Palatial Disappointment.”
Now, “Cerulean.” Possibly the best set of dreamy, electronic music I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. I say dreamy. Yes, this is one of those albums that can actually help you sleep – or rather, it’s one of those albums that will lull you to sleep; not out of boredom. This is an album that feels like it’s a collection of songs by a man stuck in a forever dream-like state (I’m a hippie). “Cerulean” is actually what sparked the idea of our new feature, the Fermixtapes, Baths being on a playlist of “songs to sleep to.”
The cloudy, trance sound isn’t the only thing that Baths is capable of pulling off; this is a brilliantly done pop album too. Songs like “Lovely Bloodflow” feature a bizarre set of falsetto vocals and catchy, crunchy drum lines that damn well beat any mainstream hip-hop song you’ve heard. Then you have stuff like “Animals,” that manages to combine both euphoric, fantasy and poppy hip-hop elements.
If you had trouble listening to bands like Passion Pit because of their unique vocal style, then “Cerulean” will most likely run you up a wall. Baths guy sounds, well, exactly like Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos. There are some tracks that have layers upon layers of vocals, which, if you already hate that kind of stuff, wont enhance your experience.
But you’ll like “Cerulean.” Trust me. It’s playful, energetic, and even emotional at times – everything you need to hit the right nerves in your brain. While the lyrics can slightly be on the immature side, the actual components of the music make up for whatever childish inklings you may notice.
Winner: “Cerulean” by Baths
Why: The catchy, out-of-this-world sound of “Cerulean” is calm and peaceful, but still manages to sound enthusiastic.