Not all pop is perfect. While some artists are pushing boundaries, others lean into genre conventions for fun, but Lo Moon straddle both worlds with mixed results. Though the band has a full mastery of their sound on this album, their writing is often more akin to the world of basic radio. Though their slow-burning writing may give many something to latch onto, the lack of a standout identity leaves the album missing something
The funky rhythms that open the record on “This Is It” lure you into the sonic depths the album explores, showcasing Lo Moon’s dreamy wash of effects and synths. Though Lo Moon isn’t necessarily reinventing the wheel on the writing side of things, there’s such a rich sense of texture to the song you’ll be pressed to nitpick. As padded-out as it is, the overall aesthetic Lo Moon fleshes out on “Loveless” will leave you lost in a daze. So many moments hit perfectly on this track too, but it’s a shame that they don’t make the extended bridge really feel fruitful.
“The Right Thing” however feels simply cold and distant, which may be the intention but ultimately makes the track feel so straightforward that you can see every turn easily. While they don’t offer a lot new here, the emotion they pack into their wondrous and shining riffs in the finale really do help the song a lot. The rippling hooks of “Thorns” create a momentum that give its slow guitar lines a real footing to dance on, making the track a great balance of sound vs rhythm.
Lo Moon straddles the line between club music and ambient synth-work on “Tried To Make You My Own” creating a gripping tension again and again. Though there’s definitely a raw energy bubbling under all their harmonies, the track never lands its drops with the right punch to make it count. “My Money” focuses their pop down to a fine and smooth groove that breathes with smoke shimmering synth lines. While it’s still as straightforward as much of the record, the band really lean into this for a sound like nothing else.
Bass crawls so slowly on “Real Love” that you could mistake the track for something more akin to ambient soundtracks. Each chorus burns bright however with massive keyboard productions, offering the song a jarring contrast that keeps it interesting. “Camouflage” however is the first truly different track on the record, searching for hope with its long and open production. The booming moments it opens up with later on are still pop-driven but use the writing in a more emotionally potent way.
Through “Wonderful Life” a lot of this same ambient charm rings as well, providing the track a lot of its unique sound. This said, so much of track is uninspired that its strengths are making up for its issues. “All In” at least taps into a more euphoric energy to inspire more hope than hollow excitement, giving the album a memorable finish. Even in the simplest piano lines, this finale shows a breadth of detail in its sounds to give an ending with a true sense of atmosphere.
Words by Owen Maxwell