Monday, July 9, 2007

Deerhunter - Cryptograms

(2007, Kranky)

Anyone who has heard even a moderate amount of the praise spewing forth for Deerhunter’s sophomore album, Cryptograms, is in for a let down; at least initially. At least I am speaking for myself (as always). Released by the almost incomparably high standards and consistency of Chicago based Kranky label, Cryptograms is an oxymoron of sorts. Marrying early 90s indie rock with their new label’s penchant for experimental ambient ear candy, the theory of Deerhunter’s sound is a marvelous one. However, my first listen was like getting punched in the face. After an almost Kranky required minimalist instrumental intro Deerhunter crushes your preconceived ideas of lifting and inspiring melodies with a garage of course unadulterated rock. For a couple of weeks I couldn’t get past the first few songs. Then one day I pushed my way through to the last half of Cryptograms to find that the hardnosed beginning morphed into a wonderfully satisfying shoegazer pop. Interspersed with several ambient instrumental tracks throughout the album, it is only as a whole that Deerhunter’s Cryptograms can be appreciated and subsequently dissected into individual songs for one-off enjoyments. Cryptograms is, in my opinion the true grower album of 2007. The accolades can now be verified as accurate. Seriously, I love the first half of the album now as much as the last. The context has somehow opened up the entire album like a vision. Do not sleep on Cryptograms, this is one of the better album indie rock albums you’re likely to find this year.

-Mr. Thistle

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