Joe GransingerThursday,22 August 2013

The Snap:

Porcelain Raft’s recently released album, Permanent Signal, is packed with a heavy dose of synthesizers and drum machines — just like his previous record — but with a handful of changes. It manages to capture the softer and sadder side of the singer/songwriter, without losing his signature spacey-electronic aura. Stronger tracks such as Cluster, Think of the Ocean, and I Lost Connection are the highlight pieces of a good-but-not-great release.

The Download:

Permanent Signal possesses a strong melancholic theme that radiates throughout the entire album, occasionally picking itself up before falling right back down into its own pool of loneliness. While still holding onto the outer-space sound that worked so well on 2012’s Strange Weekend, the general approach has evolved into a much more regretful, depressed, and mournful style.

The album opener, Think of the Ocean, immediately reveals that the writing is largely based around internal struggles and emotions. Lyrics such as, “If I could take off this mask, will you laugh at me?” and, “It’s an illusion, is it all in my brain? Am I going insane?” don’t even attempt to hide the confusion and mental conflict.

Other tracks, such as Cluster and Night Birds, feature steady drums with revolving synthesizers and guitars that pair wonderfully with Mauro Remiddi’s higher-pitched vocals. They both deliver the same atmospheric experience that made his previous album so easy to enjoy.

Some of the best songs take Porcelain Raft out of his comfort zone, introducing a slow piano tune in I Lost Connection, and violins on Think of the Ocean. However, It Ain’t Over and The Way Out still feature the distorted synth and drums that Mauro’s known for.

While no song on Permanent Signal is harsh on the ears, most lack the excitement and interest that compel you to hit repeat. The album makes for great company when you’re feeling a bit down on your luck, but there’s not much to enjoy on a regular basis.

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Porcelain Raft, Image Credit: Flickr

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