Perfectly lovely and forgettable
Asobi Seksu’s melodies, time signatures and stylistic evolution tend to move slowly—even as things around them zip by. Since 2006 sophomore release Citrus, the band has again dropped its rhythm section and landed on a new label. But little has changed musically, aside from the subtraction of a few layers of guitar texture and the addition of some bubbly twee-pop dynamics. As before, Asobi constructs its music from deceptively sophisticated elements, and does it well—arguably as well as any band in the post-shoegazer era. Peeling back its wall-of-sound dynamics suits the band, too, revealing the commanding side of keyboardist Yuki Chikudate’s usually soothing croon, and giving guitarist James Hanna the opportunity to incorporate more rhythmic punch into his subtly shifting arrangements. But despite their gift for undeniably soothing melodies and luminescent keyboard and guitar textures, the duo’s album falls into the “grower” category, and it’s possible that less resilient listeners won’t stick around to be dazzled by its early morning shimmer.