Every now and again, I find myself having to defend my music taste, and it's become apparent that Quarantine, Laurel Halo's second studio album, is an album that definitely needs a strong voice to push back all the hateful opposition. I find this LP to be very avant-garde, mysterious, and dark, and all three aspects can make for one hell of a listening experience. The only real question regarding this album is if you're ready to open your mind and accept this for what it's worth.
First of all, this is ambient-pop music. That has to be raising a few questions from readers, as it is a perplexing title. "What? Ambient-pop? Like Brian Eno combined with Michael Jackson? What is that?!" Well, it's not quite as extreme as that, but it is definitely an odd concept: incorporating pop undertones to music with ambient overtones. Usually I don't have a problem with these massively experimental genres if they're done well, and this is no exception. Quarantine pushes all musical boundaries to the extreme with some of the downright strangest, most experimental numbers that make me feel as if I'm in a dream.
The main problems people have with Quarantine is Laurel Halo's voice, and I won't lie; it's not the best I've ever heard. It's actually not as much her voice, but the mix makes it so dominant. Any instrument overshadowing the others is bound to cause a bit of a stir, and it does here. However, some tracks get the mixes perfect, "Thaw" and "Carcass" being the best examples of how the vocals blend and even compliment the trancelike ambience that is swirling around you.
I'm not asking you to love this record, I'm mealy asking you give it a chance. If you listen to it and it turns out you hate it; fine. If you like it; even better! You're entitled to your opinion. Everybody should just take this for what it is, and stop complaining about what it's not.
B. W. Everett 02/08/12
5. MK Ultra
12. Light + Space