Monday, October 29, 2007
Arab Strap followers anxious to listen in on more of Aidan Moffat's tales of infidelity, drunkenness, and other various forms of sloppy debauchery will hear nothing of the sort in Hypnogogia, his solo album credited to Lucky Pierre. Throughout, Moffat utilizes the style of leisurely paced, bass-heavy hip-hop beats heard in many an Arab Strap song and casts a somewhat limited range of moods -- sadness to eeriness to outright terror -- with the use of sighing cellos, twinkling melodies, and plaintive pianos. It's not all thumping rhythms, however; "Ghost One" and "Ghost Two," two of the album's most pensive and exceptional moments, are beatless, with echoed piano and unsettling drones wafting throughout. "Nurse Flamingo" sticks out like a sore thumb, but somehow manages to fit the flow of the album, swiping its chiming melody and tropical nuances from easy listening albums. Despite the album's consistency, nothing tops the opening "Angels on Your Body," a dramatic track with spectacular use of machine claps and an elegy of strings so alluringly mournful you'll want to swim in it. Despite the absence of Moffat's mate, Malcolm Middleton (the man usually credited in the duo's liner notes as "most things musical"), and despite the absence of Moffat's slurred miserablisms, Hypnogogia could've been released as a proper Arab Strap album without blemishing the reputation the name carries. More importantly, Hypnogogia shows that Moffat is adept at conveying his feelings without the use of words.