Gesaffelstein - Hyperion
I don't particularly know why I've waited so long to dive into this record. Maybe it was because Gesaffelstein seemed to come out of nowhere and then was suddenly totally in my face. He has produced for the likes of Kanye West (Yeezus) but Hyperion is only his second full length record. His style is often described as sinister and you can see why. Not only is the album cover black, but almost everything about this record is heavy and dark. Our first feature comes from The Weeknd and it's honestly one of his better performances as of late. His Starboy persona has fallen quite flat in the Public arena, but this sexed up and dark version of The Weeknd is SO much better. This album tends to vacillate between striking the right chord with the feature, and diving into some straight production that is a bit bottomless. Pharell makes an appearance on "Blast Off" a song that actually sounds like a bootleg version of Daft Punk. I don't know if it's Pharell or Gesaffelstein that are blame for this song, but it just feels like a vibe that has been done to death. Haim also feature on "So Bad" but their collaboration lands with a total thud. Embracing a dark mentality is something not every artist can do. Haim's typically bright version of rock-pop is just dragged to a screeching halt. The same can be said for "Forever" which is too electro poppy on one hand and then too dark on the other. The two never really link up and the song ends up this jumbled mess. The blip blop ending of the track also comes completely out of left field.
Hyperion also has a really odd pace to it. The majority of the tracks are close to your typical three minutes but then right at the end is this massive 10 and a half minute monster. It is seemingly for no reason also, there is nothing that moves or shifts an amount that warrants this massive run-time.
"Vortex" manages to harness some of that raw dark energy and channel it into something bold and unique. It's one of the times on the album where you stand up and take notice, hey something interesting is going on here. However it feels like a track that is ripe for a vocalist, it stays to similar throughout for it to survive on it's own and with a touch of star power it could be something truly special. There are times where it feels like He is breaking new ground in dance music, but it also doesn't really feel like it matters. "Memora" creates this pretty vast soundscape but then the beat ends up being really generic. There are cool ideas throughout this entire record but they end up being only flashes. It seems like when Gesaffelstein is able to focus in on one idea, with another vocalist, He can create some really memorable things. However left to his own devices things just don't come together the way you would expect. There are things to like, but a whole lot more to scratch your head about and that is why Hyperion misses the mark.
5.2 out of 10