Pacific UV - Longplay 2
Record Label: WARM Records
Release Date: April 1, 2008
Longplay 2 kicks off (well, it doesn’t really “kick off,” but you get what I mean) with the minimalist in style, if not in length at over eight minutes long, song “Alarmist”.
This instrumental track begins quietly, then adds some piano before fading in the simplistic guitar pattern which forms the base of the rest of the first part of the track. Many other little things get added in and taken away in equal measure over the course of the song, including the aforementioned guitar line, which gets replaced by piano, with strings making a notable appearance, too. A new guitar line now gets layered in to join the piano and strings. As the song nears its end, the layers are again taken out as they were added, though not in the same order; the final breath taken by the song is taken by the strings. It’s a well put-together and relaxing song, as well as being surprisingly interesting for what it is.
“Need” comes next and is, again, a very layer-based song, but here we get our first listen to the vocals and this (and a number of other factors) mean that that the track has a very different feel to the opener, being not only a more intricate piece but also using some different instruments; most notably a saxophone. This succeeds in giving the track a somewhat jazzy sound, perfectly topped off by the singer’s mellow, calming voice. Guitars are put in between the first two verses, engaging in solos before having a longer interlude of this sort with more layers between the second and third verses, with no chorus in sight. What I’ve noticed after a few listens to this album is that PacificUV are able to change their sound in a way that, somehow, you don’t really notice a transition – they achieve it seamlessly.
Track three has the name “Tremolo,” not that I think that there is actually any tremolo featured in the song – but hey, it still makes more sense than, say, “I Constantly Thank God for Esteban”. This song showcases for the first (and last) time on the album the talents of PacificUV’s female vocalist. Her vocals contribute to the soft, flowing & mellow feel of the song. Instrumental timing seems to me to be a fraction off in places here, but timing was always my musical downfall, so I’m most likely wrong.
“Something Told Us” is the kind of tranquil instrumental track that, if it came on and you weren’t really paying attention, you may not even notice it playing, making it great for relaxing. The same can be said of its succeeding track, “Waiting,” though it does feature some vocals. That said, the vocals on this track are just repeating fragments of the phrase, “I’m waiting for you to come home.”
Next comes “Arson”, a ten minute long instrumental, similar in style & substance to those preceding it. The penultimate track on the album, “If so”, sees the return of some male vocals, though, as in “Waiting,” they are just a repeated line and really just another layer to the music.
The album ends with the pensive, initially piano-based “Ljiv”, another intricately-layered instrumental which transitions into a strings-based song with lashings of a bright-sounding percussion instrument, perhaps a xylophone.
And so it ends.
Though I would have liked to see the vocals used more often in their own right rather than just a layer, as they are on “Need” and “Tremolo” this is a solid minimalist album and great for relaxing or perhaps just some mood music.
Note: I’ve marked the vocals and lyrics as n/a, as there is very little focus upon those aspects of the music as a whole. Had there been more vocals, they probably would have scored about a 9. I really can’t speculate as to a lyrical score, however.