RATE WHITE MAGIC:
Tough Alliance side-project ceo’s debut record is eight tracks, less than a half hour, so it had better be good. Thankfully, for the most part, Eric Berglund’s mostly-electronic, clubby beats and lightly accented, hyper-positive singing create a perfect mélange of hooky, undeniable jams. “Illuminata” is as head-noddingly infectious as any guitar-heavy indie pop single this year, all samples and computer bleeps, while “White Magic” gets a little more tribal, with throbbing drums and arpeggiator and shimmery curtains of sound.
Unfortunately, “White Magic” tends to bog down at times: the repetitivity and electronic fiddling that sometimes makes these songs interesting tend to make purely instrumental sections a little too ambient and easy to relegate to background music.
“No Mercy” opens with a fitting spoken declaration: “And if you didn’t know me by now, you will never know me again…” This neatly sums up Berglund’s vision behind the record: “White Magic,” at its best moments and even at its worst, is an outlining of a mission, a statement of intention. It’s an album of cohesive sound, subject, and general vibe – busy, dizzying, and transfixing as the kaleidoscope image on its cover, and, for better or worse, just as easy to get lost in.
68 — [Rating Scale]
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