Published Oct 31, 2019At first listen, Half Moon Run's latest album, A Blemish in the Great Light, is inoffensive. The record sounds much like what the indie rock band's sound has been in the past, but the more you listen to it, the more it leaves a mark on your mind, eventually becoming indelible.
The Montreal band have always had a grand sound, and this album does not disappoint. Instrumental complexity is star of the show; produced by Joe Chiccarelli (Frank Zappa, the Strokes), it hints at classical in some parts, like piano plucked romantically and urgently on "Undercurrents," but in other parts sounds like '80s synth pop, as on "Jello on my Mind" (a wonderful name for a song).
Yet the record gets bucolic and folksy in other parts, for example, on "Flesh and Blood," while mandolin on "Favourite Boy" adds a curiously pleasant layer to a track that has a delightful disco-esque bent. The album will remind you of so many things all at once — not in a bad way.
This is a very complex record — deliberate and intensely thought out. But even if something is indelible, it's not de facto groundbreaking, which is the case here. A Blemish in the Great Light is endlessly listenable. Because it is so complex, so wrought, it loses an overarching feeling to hold it together, something that might help it read as a whole, as opposed to good songs that are very well done. It'll be a great album to drive to. (Crystal Math)