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Color The Weather
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  • Color the Weather is the most ambitious release to date from Suicideyear, a Louisiana-based producer who made a name for himself via several mixtapes, EPs, remixes, and collaborations throughout the 2010s. His music can be described as trap, but it's much less hedonistic or druggy than much other music in the style. His output has been less prolific toward the end of the decade than it was near the beginning, but it's clear that he's been working hard to refine his style. These tracks are more vibrant and complex than his older material, yet they still maintain the starkness and spaciousness that's long been a key part of his signature sound. He's clearly made the transition from recording everything in his bedroom to working in a proper studio and collaborating with other musicians, and there's a bit more of a sheen to these sophisticated tracks. They're still quite unconventional, however, particularly during the moments when he'll switch to a slower, more dragged-out beat or suddenly increase the attack of the kick drums. He also works with singers on two songs, adding extra layers of more up-front emotions. "Days Forever" features British vocalist Georgia, whose self-titled 2015 album remains underappreciated. Her lyrics are breakup-themed, and instead of following a standard song structure, she seems to drift away for much of the song's second half, which only seems to underscore her point when she sings lines such as "I'm falling away from you." "Said and Done" is an exquisite R&B ballad featuring airy, delicate vocals by Casey MQ, and its sudden shift into a slower tempo makes the song seem more dramatic without being pompous. Elsewhere, the album ranges from the warped IDM melody and eerily relaxing fog of "Little Palace Hidden Heaven" to the ambitious "Path," which combines bright, Orbital-esque melodies with intricate, Eastern-sounding percussion. Like other Suicideyear releases, there's an undeniable feeling of anxiety and gloominess to his work, but it's actually not quite as depressing as one would expect given the artist's name, and it's easier to hear a sense of hope shining through on this album. A triumph. ~ Paul Simpson
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