A Love Like Pi - Atlas and the Oyster
Record Label: Thriving Records
Release Date: March 23, 2009
I bet you've never heard a synth used quite like this.
On Atlas and the Oyster, A Love Like Pi uses their synth in almost every way imaginable, bringing in crazy beats and synth-affected vocals as well as just general effects that add a strange twinge to the sound they have going for them. While you can be assured that their synth antics will show up in all of the songs, they do have tracks that are more guitar-oriented, such as the premiere track, "Young Men." The vocals are often aided by a vocoder, and it's actually welcome since it's obvious that their vocalist could stand on his own (and does in places throughout the album). Instead of serving as a crutch for him, it's more of an aid to mix up the vocals and add another layer of depth to the arrangements. A prime example of this is in chorus of the track "Innocent Man" where the vocalist’s electronic singing suddenly breaks out of the verses in an awesomely jarring way.
While many of the tracks are fairly pop-oriented, some of the more impressive songs from the album are the more electro-leaning where they experiment with their sound. These include both of the "title tracks" ("Atlas" and "The Oyster") as well as "My Body" and "A Merry Cain." These tracks just seem to fit together much better than some of the poppier ones, and though many of the pop tracks are rather impressive and catchy, such as "Innocent Man" with its explosive and well orchestrated chorus, "All You Do With Guilt, Iscariot," and "Honesty." However, the tracks "Oh, Lollita," "Oh, Everything" and "Keep My Lovers True" just seem underdeveloped and rather clumsy in places. That is, these tracks just never really take off, drag too long, and are really rather skip-worthy.
A Love Like Pi's latest release, Atlas and the Oyster is, to an extent, a bag of mixed tricks. On one hand, you have the ultra-cool rockers like "Atlas," but on the other you're faced with seemingly rushed and clumsy tracks like "Oh, Lollita." Despite these few skip-able tracks, Atlas and the Oyster is a rather impressive album on the whole and shouldn't be skipped. Though they're often given the label of "guilty pleasure," A Love Like Pi deserve an accolade greater than that and have released an album that could has some serious gems and possibly staying power among fans they manage to pull into this electronic-ridden progressive pop-rock styling they've got working for them.
I love this album and I've only had it a day. It reminds me of Evaline at some points, which is a big plus. A Love Like Pi is definately their own band, though, and prove themselves with this effort. Innocent Man reminds me of that cartoon movie, Iron Giant, when he says "I cannot, I cannot kill an innocent man." I wouldn'y compare his vocals to the guy from The Script, but this band is going somewhere, and if they don't it'll be a damn shame.