Album Review: Balmorhea – ‘Constellations’ (Western Vinyl)

An album dragging along at a turgid pace

The term neo-classical is so nebulous as to make it useless. Far away from the modern chamber pop of [b]Owen Pallett[/b] and minimalism of [b]Peter Broderick[/b] is the easy-listening/post-rock-influenced atmospherics of [b]Balmorhea[/b]. Their vision is so focused on piano and guitar tone and so opposed to the notion of tunefulness that [b]MGMT[/b]’s new stuff seems like ‘Motown Chartbusters 3’ in comparison. [b]‘Constellations’[/b] drags along at a turgid pace. But just when all interest feels like it is draining away, the album ends by entering the sublime with a short exploration of a fragile drone and a heavenly choir drifting in and out of the mix, along with controlled feedback on [b]‘Palestrina’[/b]. One classic track, if naught else.

[b]John Doran[/b]

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