So, I may be a few days late with this Retro Review, but it was the New Years and I was enjoying myself (read: treating my hangovers with more of what put me in that state). So, because of the constant headaches and need for dark rooms to avoid bright lights, I found myself turning to music that falls into the more “chill” end of the musical spectrum. Also, since it was the New Year, I found myself feeling a bit nostalgic. Both of these feelings combined into me easing back to Esthero’s debut album ‘Breath From Another’. An album that has elements of Portishead and Bjork, ‘Breath From Another’ is a slightly more upbeat sounding approach to Trip-Hop. But does that work or does it hinder? Check for the answer after the jump.
The album kicks off with the title track and the first words you hear are samples from Deliverance. This actually ends up working very well as Deliverance and ‘Breath From Another’ (the album) both have very dream-like feelings about them with moments of near violent intensity. And just like Deliverance’, I have a feeling that ‘Breath From Another’ is one of those “love it or hate it” situations.
The production of ‘Breath From Another’ stills holds up beautifully. With an album such as this, the low end is extremely important because that’s where a lot of the groove lies. On ‘Breath From Another’, the bass and the low end are handled wonderfully, giving the full sense of depth but avoiding all muddiness. The various textures used throughout each song are also handled with the same amount of care, creating a sonic landscape where each spin of the album elicits new realizations. It’s a joy of an album to listen to, especially on a good sound system or through high quality headphones.
‘Breath From Another’ is an album that is incredibly easy to groove to, but is probably best used for more, how shall I put it? Intimate settings? Get the drift? There is a rhythm and flow that permeates across this album that would make it perfect for a sensual evening.
The Final Word: Although I hear that Esthero apparently isn’t keen on this album, I find ‘Breath From Another’ to be a beautiful, subtly eerie album that hasn’t lost any of it’s impact. Beautifully recorded, this is an album that you put on and then don’t touch afterwards.