The San Francisco-based Beautiful Machines have taken a decidedly different direction with their album, Bridges. Lately electronic music has been mostly about the beeps, whistles and repetitive droning bass, but the trio, consisting of Conrad Schuman (Vocal/Guitar), Veli-Matti Mattila (Drums), Stef Ku (Synth/Keys), goes down the path something similar to M83. It is more about the melodies and rich flowing landscape of music.
The introductory track, “Prototype”, seems more like an electronic symphony rather than contemporary electro-rock song. It is fluid and expansive. The rest of the album is filled with emotional filling soundscapes like “Interference” which has no words, but is a DJ mix of sounds. But other tracks, “Million Miles” and “Sunrise Song” are great radio-friendly tracks that are primed for expansion during a live show. The one difference that stands out between M83 and Beautiful Machines is that Schuman‘s vocals are not as heavily distorted. His true vocals shine through giving the tracks on which he sings a more organic feel.
Though probably the best and most complete track is “Real Love”. There is a throwback or retro element to this song that makes it feel like it should be placed in 80’s flick, but at the same time it has a very modern twist that keeps it fresh. The production level on “Real Love” is beyond compare and is perfectly balanced.
Bridges is a fantastic album that can be used in so many ways. It could be great for a listening party, a dance party or just background ambiance. It is a very balanced and complete LP that deserves to be listened to. Beautiful Machines, if they continue to be innovative, will continue to grow a very loyal support. Bridges is the first step.
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