“Crush”: A Mixed Review

Elias Scott DeMartinville, Staff Writer

Following Sam Sheppard’s alternative house mix, “King Bromeliad,” he did not hold back on his new album titled “Crush,” a beautiful combination of his musical talents all condensed into a captivating 44-minute listen. 

The opening track, “Falaise,” is a demonstration of Sheppard’s impressive composition abilities with his obvious in-depth knowledge of electronic music theory. The song starts off soft and almost cinematic as if one of the sun’s morning rays has hit you. As the song goes on, I can imagine a camera slowly panning eastward with the sun showing the natural world come to life. The first few minutes of the album feel personal, the vibration that comes and goes piercing through the melody is a beautiful hint at what is coming. The string instruments fight back the pulsating sounds of the electronic machine. As the album plays through, a recurring theme arises, one of natural electronic progression, as if nature was telling the tracks what to do. On the track “Environments,” what seems to sound like sirens slowly intermixes with more and more unrecognizable electronic sounds while remaining organic, chaotic, and wavy. 

While the album did not fail to deliver on the technical and music theory side, where it did lack was the melodic side. Though I was thoroughly impressed, I did find myself bored on more forgettable tracks of the album where all I could seem to hear were either a brouhaha of sounds or very unorganized mixes of natural sounds. The things that gave this album its shiny stars is also the factor why it lost potential. In my opinion, the track “sea-watch” is a tryhard track. It aims to be much more emotional than it needs to be. Although the track would make sense in the first couple songs of the album, at this point, it is more of an annoying bump in the road than a track I can happily look back on.

Overall, I was very impressed with the technical side of the album, which undoubtedly gave it its flares, but several issues made the album hard to listen to at times.