Active Child – You Are All I See (Vagrant)

October 1, 2011 by  

There’s something gloomy yet angelic about Pat Rossi aka Active Child’s début release ‘You Are All I See’. That angelic gloom hangs over you through all ten songs (if you exclude the remix) and by the time its finished its still frozen in the middle of that tight rope with glitteringly graceful one side and hauntingly lonely in the other.

Going back to angelical style which glides through the album, it couldn’t be more prominent in the opening track ‘You Are All I See’. The layers of harps glisten at the start of ‘You Are All I See’ which makes the track heavenly, but still oddly sombre as Rossi adds his choir styled vocals which wale throughout. That melancholic vibe you get through the song makes it feel like a celebrated funeral song.

The coldness from the harps seeps into the next song ‘Hanging On’ which seems to fuse today’s new music stylings all in one. It has that minimal and airy R&B drum beat thumping underneath the post dub-step vocal samples which are doused in reverb and delay, then to top it all off the chillwave synths come in towards the end which sound borrowed from label mate Washed Out. Rossi has definitely done his homework for the albums stand out track and he’s weaved together a clever and brave piece of music.

These new sub genres or updated styles of genres can be sensed on other songs as you listen on. On ‘Playing House’ Rossi is joined up by another new musical trend setter in How To Dress Well, here both of them add their smooth vocals to atmospheric urban beats which has been gaining popularity with the help of Canadian up and comers The Weeknd. Then towards the end of the album the post dub-step influence comes back in track ‘Shield and Sword’. A song with a sparse musical landscape containing hollow snare hits and echoing claps that really stand out more then any other instrument. However, as to be expected the harp makes a triumphant return letting you know it never really left.

Active Child is devilishly impressive as he’s made an album which pretty much sums up all current musical sub genres of 2011. However adding these sub genre’s together still gives him exactly the same results if he had just focused on specific style. Chillwave, post dub-step and down tempo R&B individually give off that cold, isolated sound. And when thrown together you’ll still get that cold, isolated sound. This just means Rossi has made an inventive album but not a pioneering one.

[rating:3.5]


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