Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind
INDIE EXCLUSIVE Silver vinyl in printed inner in gatefold outer sleeve, download card insert
The fourth studio album by the American experimentalist is their most technically advanced work yet.
"Romanticist" takes the same approach to songwriting and samples elements from the classic Korean funk track "김남미 - 오! 그말." It dissolves into a more abstract setup with a seamless transition to the following song "Dream Palette." This track quickly destabilises itself with a kinetic drum solo, a tornado of guitar feedback and the faint whistling of fireworks being set off. Even though this chaos is carefully choreographed, it's these messy moments that convince me of such self-serious lyrics: "Our hearts are in danger / Tell me, is this fundamental love?" The sweet nothings in "Romanticist" would not work without the dangerous entropy of "Dream Palette."
Many tracks do well on their own, including "Kerosene!," a slow burner that shines bright as Yves Tumor and Diana Gordon croon at each other. "Strawberry Privilege" is a unique cut in its use of acappella, with choral chanting becoming its own instrument. Much of this album focuses on love, obvious in the lyrics, and sex appeal, as apparent in its funk influences, and while accessible and legible songs can be refreshing, sometimes these themes are best approached from an angle rather than head-on.
Part of what made Yves Tumor's past albums so emotionally affecting was the balance of dopamine-releasing earworms and punishing noise. The instrumental near the end of the album, "Asteroid Blues," could've been that opportunity but is instead a forgettable two-minute band jam. Tumor's most moving music combines seemingly incompatible or weirdly cerebral styles into work that demands an emotional response from the body: heartache, hunger, goosebumps, blood flow. Heaven To A Tortured Mind isn't necessarily the most dynamic release by the artist, but in its best moments, it's a heaping dose of musical ingenuity.
01. Gospel For A New Century
02. Medicine Burn
03. Identity Trade
05. Hasdallen Lights
07. Dream Palette
08. Super Stars
09. Folie Imposée
10. Strawberry Privilege
11. Asteroid Blues
12. A Greater Love