The Blaze - DANCEHALL
The debut album from French producing duo The Blaze is an exploration of the evolution of big room dance music. For years it's been hard EDM and Trap we've been seeing on the biggest stages, but it appears The Blaze are trying to take the warmer sounds of House and well, Dancehall and bringing those to the forefront. The problem is this big sounding effort has almost no teeth and even fewer stakes. This music works, because it's always worked. There are not really any new ideas here or notions to make you want to keep listening to The Blaze. Instead what we get is a watered down version of it all that is heavy on the bass sound but light on the content. The sound of the album is often overwhelming, putting your speakers to the fucking test. Yet there is never a dirty grumble or sound that is unclean. The record is seriously razor sharp in it's utilization of sound. The problem is what's coming out of those It's fine sort of popular electronic dance music, but in terms of moving the needle it does so little. The drops can induce some brief moments of excitement and exuberance, but other wise the tracks feel pretty happy to just sort of bop along. "RUNAWAY" takes you down a dark and winding path, but the lyrics are so deadpan and distant that you can never buy in to what is happening.
The thing you are left with the most when it comes to this album is a huge sense of being underwhelmed. The album promises a ton with its big bass and crisp sound, but delivers on nearly none of it. None of the tracks stand out more than another, and at times the album gets a bit painful because everything is so the same. "QUEENS" is one of those songs that starts at one level and ends in the exact same place. I felt like I was losing my mind during the song because they kept on repeating the same fucking thing over and over again. "FACES" is the one time most of this comes together and you get something has a point of view. The record closes on "MOUNT" which has this cinematic build closes on one piano note, masquerading as this important work, but ending up as just another pedestrian outing for the duo. I don't know what could fix this album, or how it could be more interesting. As it is the record feels hollow and boring.
4.0 out of 10