Written Before Listen
At the beginning of November Deaths dynamic shroud.wmv released an album that got a lot of recognition that I completely missed out on. Now that the lists are over and the new year is beginning, I decided to give it a listen and review anyway. I’ve seen this album but never gotten out my way to listen to it but it was on my albums to review list at the end of 2021. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Well as vaporwave goes, the entire genre is devoted to nostalgia. This album doesn’t avoid any nostalgia as a lot of the software instruments tend to more analog synthesizers, vintage drum machines and the plugins emulate to somewhat of an older time. I always thought vaporwave was kind of a gimmick but this album proved me wrong. It’s a great blend of the nostalgic factor and intricate arrangements and I hope more vaporwave tends to lean toward this style.
A lot of influences could lean towards the vaporwave legends like Macintosh Plus and Chuck Person which it does, but a lot of the disco influence is replaced by a lot of 90s dance music such as house, new jack swing, and freestyle. I’m glad to see this come to an evolving turn as well because I do like 80s culture and I do like nostalgia, I think the 90s influence is more nostalgic for millennials and even Gen Z. This is honestly like Progressive Vaporwave….yeah I said it.
A lot of Vaporwave usually tends to sample 80s synth funk, disco, and boogie but Death’s dynamic shroud disobeys the cliches. All of the samples are toward the 2010s and early 2020s pop superstars. The opening track uses vocal snippets and clips from a Demi Lovato from 2011 but that is the oldest track that is sampled. The following track uses the hit Dua Lipa track “Don’t Start Now” and turns it into a new jack swing cut. The song “Pop Chin” samples a Taylor Swift from 2019 and the songs “Just To Be Needed” and “Someone In The Room” sample the queen herself, Ariana Grande. All of those samples are great in their way but the most impressive to me is the sampling of Olivia Rodrigo’s breakout hit, “drivers license” as DDS turn the melodramatic ballad into a beautiful ambient track that’s transcendental. If you ask me, these samples are genius flips and they’re done to the best of their abilities.
One of my favorite things about this album is that it’s way more than a vaporwave album. It’s a mixture of Vaporwave, Pop, Plunderphonics, and numerous other electronic styles. The title track is less of a vaporwave track and more of a dance-pop banger. The same can go with the track “Someone In the Room” as well. The final track could be considered vaporwave but it could also be categorized as ambient music as well as the drums are nowhere to be found. The song “Just To Be Needed” is a laid-back trip-hop-like track with its laid-back beats and expressive female vocal samples. Overall, this is a great combination of multiple stylings and none of them sound sterile or boring.
One thing that I could say is that the tracks could be a little lengthy at points and the track “(…)” had no real reasoning to be on this album as it just makes the album longer. I can also say that it is devoted to aesthetics but that isn’t that much of a problem. Other than that, there aren’t really that many problems on this album. I missed out on this album big time
This missed out big time on my best albums of the 2021 list. If I had to remake the list, this album would probably be around the top 15 area. It’s just that great of an album and I’m low-key pissed that I missed out on this album when it came out. Hey, better late than never.