Glass Animals: How to be a Human Being

2 Oct

 

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Glass Animals return with their new album ‘How To Be A Human Being’. As an instructional manual, it is flawed. As an album of music, it’s more compelling.

The album starts strong — ‘Life Itself’ takes its time with an extended instrumental intro that draws the listener in. It’s the kind of cinematic intro that is not that common these days (it’s what Quincy Jones calls ‘ear candy’).

Surreal songs like ‘Pork Soda’, ‘Mama’s Gun’ and ‘Poplar St’ waft about without ever coming together in a traditional pop sense. It’s not an unpleasant sensation. This is an album that would probably work as mood setting during a long drive.

The album continues in this vein, blending psychedelic imagery with strange sound design. it almost sounds like what you would get if Weezer fell through a worm hole into 1967 and discovered LSD. Overall, it’s a hard vibe to describe — you get modern nerd references mixed with distorted vocals, repetitive choruses, processed instruments and stuttering dubstep-like beats and loops. It’s a real smorgasbord of sounds and styles.

There’s a weird sense of drive to the music, although I will admit to dropping out a few times. It could use some judicious re-writing and re-editing — songs go on a mite too long, and you never really get a grasp on what the underlying purpose of it all is.

If you are looking for something different for your ‘music for monotonous tasks’ playlist, this might be right up your alley.

 

By Tim George

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