EDEN - Vertigo
This new album from EDEN feels like trip hop mixed with pop mixed with Indie and then thrown into some other dimension. At it's very core Vertigo is a breakup pop album, filled with sappy lyrics and lethargic production to punctuate the sense of loss. It is paced interestingly with some songs coming in at a minute while others stretch over six. The production can vary from minimal to expansive even on the same track like "icarus" where He takes you on a true journey from start to finish. These songs are so murky, almost trip hop but not quite punctuated enough. There are so many things that EDEN (Jonathan Ng) sets up that He never pays off it is damn near maddening. He digs in so deep on the emotion of the song that He misses the point on the music. "icarus" should have an absolute explosion of a close because He sets it up for six minutes before letting loose this distorted mess. Everything is telegraphing something big for this song, something powerful but it ends up being confused in the end. The same can be said for many of these tracks. They have the right idea, and there are powerful themes being played with, but the execution is just simply lacking. He also dips in and out of songs, blending the whole thing together but in this really awkward way. This is not how pop is supposed to sound for a reason, and perhaps Ng is figuring that out. Some grace has to be given as the kid is only 21 years old but still trying something different.
"crash" similarly has this incredibly tense build that goes into nothing, leaving you feeling so robbed. At over fifty minutes the record is also way to long. If He just dialed this in and honed his sound you can imagine how great the results would be. He almost gets there on 'gold" with its wild production and aggressive downbeat but it is only a fleeting moment amongst a ton of lover lorn sadness. It just starts to feel heavy with the hazy production and the acoustic solo and vocal breaks. You keep looking for something else to like, something to really dig into and hold but it never comes. It reaches peak emo on "forever//over" with a hushed conversation by some unknown lovers punctuated by street sounds and eventually blending into "float". EDEN has proven that He can produce the hell out of an album, because really it does sound fantastic, but in terms of song writing this young artist has some work to do. Luckily He's got the time.
6.2 out of 10