ALBUM REVIEW: The Golden Filter - Voluspa






The Golden Filter’s Völuspà is really really close to being an incredible album. Listen to first song “Dance Around The Fire” or first single “Solid Gold,” and you’ll see what I mean. The songs are marked by phenomenally lush instrumentation, vaguely unidentifiable exoticism, trance-inducing but catchy melodies, pulsing swells and releases. And yet – and it’s a huge yet, the type you should say with a big sigh – the album is generally disappointing. The expression “so close but yet so far” was made for Völuspà.

Normally, I would say that Völuspà is a letdown because of the expectations set by the two aforementioned songs, but I don’t think that’s quite it here. There’s a pretty uniform level of nu-disco success across the album’s length that counters the bump-and-slump explanation for The Golden Filter’s stumble. Instead, I think the band simply has trouble figuring out what to do with this sound that they have so excellently cultivated in their short history as a recording group. The Golden Filter is speeding down a highway and making great time, but they’re ignoring all the exits. A couple detours here or there, into unfamiliar territory, would be a welcome respite from the monotony of the road.

The tracks on Völuspà blend together – not entirely unpleasantly – to the album’s detriment. It’s a phenomenon I’ve noted before, but listening to Völuspà in its entirety feels like listening to two or three songs on repeat, causing the album to wear extremely fast. I find myself flipping on the album, listening to the stellar opening track, and then tuning out for about forty-five minutes. “Thunderbird” grabs my attention again at the album’s close, but with a sort of “Hey, this sounds like ‘Solid Gold’” vibe. A couple self-referential high points do not an incredible album make; Völuspà is great for what it is, but what it is is mostly background music.

62 — [Rating Scale]

Download: The Golden Filter - "Hide Me" | Peter Bjorn & John Remix | Music Video