Words About Music
Peaking Lights “Cosmic Logic”
“Cosmic Logic” is Peaking Lights’ most straightforward album to date, which doesn’t say much since it’s still a strange, psychedelic journey. Peaking Lights is a music duo that combines electronica, drone, noise pop, and psychedelic music to fuse several different eras and genres into some pretty great tunes. I first heard them back in 2012 with the release of their 2nd album “Lucifer” and I wasn’t really sold. “Cosmic Logic” is a much more accessible release with greater emphasis on vocals and rhythms, at least more so than what I remember from their previous work, and I definitely enjoy it more. It’s highly catchy, and sort of sounds like a lo-fi version of M.I.A. It’s not quite a lovable release and it feels sort of disconnected from humanity —not to mention its repetitiveness can get kind of boring — but it’s still fairly good.
I’ll probably always and forever compare electronic albums and bands to Animal Collective, because they’re such a perfect example. The band pays equal attention to sound, feeling, vocals, and lyrics. They make truly great songs and albums, and Peaking Lights feels sort of boring in comparison. Maybe it’s not fair to compare the two bands since Peaking Lights, at least on this album, is doing more of a structured approach than Animal Collective would probably do. But, the comparison still exists for me. Maybe if the vocals were more dynamic I would enjoy the project. Rather than add to the atmosphere, they’re noticeable enough to be distracting without really adding anything to the band’s overall sound. The music on this album is relaxing, but it kind of falls into the background. There is the attention to detail in the writing, but the execution is less than exemplary.
Qualitatively, “Cosmic Logic” is a good album. There are plenty of complex sequences and sounds that demonstrate variation and multiple facets. Unfortunately, the vocals and lyrics don’t really bring anything interesting to the table for me. At its worst it sounds like a really boring Crystal Castles album, but that’s rare. Kathleen Hanna name-drops aside, this album is more interesting instrumentally and aesthetically than it is otherwise. Maybe accessibility isn’t quite in Peaking Lights’ best interest. But, this album isn’t an overt failure. It’s a decent electronic record with less than substantial performances. It’s alright. I’ll continue following the band, though, and I’m sure they’ll put out some good stuff in the future.
SCORE – 6.3
FAVORITE TRACKS – Infinite Trips, Telephone Call, Little Light, Dreamquest, Eyes to Sea, Breakdown