Record #22: Atlas Sound – Logos (2009)

For a few months, I played this record just about every day.

This had a lot to do with the fact that my car’s built-in iPod interface made it very difficult to access bands buried deep in the alphabet, but still, I didn’t mind. It’s an absolutely beautiful record, and it’s rewarding both in the background and in headphones.

It’s more immediately accessible than Let The Blind–acoustic guitars and drum sets appear on nigh every track, adding some clarity to the ambient fog of the debut. Bradford Cox’s voice, while still heavily effected, is higher in the mix, and his words are more frequent and coherent.

It’s a subtle change, and one that showcases Cox’s increased confidence as a songwriter. His lyrics are also less ambiguous, lingering on themes of growing up and growing old. They often sound happy, but that happiness is paired with a measured pessimism, like the “love song” “Shelia,” which pairs propositions of marriage and a life shared with alternating refrains of “no one wants to die alone” and “we’ll die alone together.”

Unlike Let The Blind, Logos features some strong guest appearances, like Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) on the upbeat loop-fest “Walkabout,” and the one and only Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab) on the 8+ minute krautrocker “Quick Canal,” which sounds like the great lost Stereolab single, barring the noise freakout in the middle.

These guests augment the record’s showcase of Cox’s vast vocabulary of pop history (other notable exhibits: the Motown-informed waltz of “My Halo” and the cut-and-paste tape loops of “Washington School”). Through the noise of his studio noodling, you can hear a sensibility that informs the listener that Bradford Cox is little more than a music fan making music. And music-by-fans is always the best kind.

One thought on “Record #22: Atlas Sound – Logos (2009)

  1. Pingback: Record #23: Atlas Sound – Parallax (2011) | A Year of Vinyl

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