The self-titled and independent release by solo-artist Who’s Masquerade, has spent a couple of years in the making, offering what is an interesting lo-fi music experience. There’s many influences present on the album, which helps to make up the overall sound of the music, as though all the influences have been combined with Who’s Masquerade’s ideas to make up the resulting album. It’s incredibly interesting at times, with the album sounding somewhat like an Arab Strap album combined with perhaps Red House Painters or My Bloody Valentine. It’s an interesting listening experience, with some parts that demonstrate some very incredible song-writing talents.
‘Who’s Masquerade’ is compiled of 12 songs of varying lengths. There’s an interesting flow to the entire album, with a few short tracks feeling like vignettes into what is to come on the album. It helps to set an overall picture of the album, which feels much like a dark story that the artist is trying to tell us. It feels as though it is being presented through the music, as the vocals on the album are for the most part rather indistinguishable, and often falling into the layers of music as though it is an instrument as well. What can be distinguished seems to be semi-spoken vocals, sounding a lot like Arab Strap vocals. It’s interesting, and actually works well for the album. It feels like the identity of the songs are left in the vocals, which are hidden behind the layers of music that have built up. Whether or not this is intentional is anybody’s guess, but I find it to actually work well for the album. There’s a lot of creativeness on the album, and it’s clear that Who’s Masquerade has many ideas that he wants to present on the album.
There’s many strengths to this album, but it feels limited by weaknesses which are very obvious on the album. A lot of the tracks feel damaged by what I’d say is some poor instrumentals. Especially in the opening tracks, the instrumentals feel a little weak, and don’t come together as well as they should do. It is a shame, as there’s some great ideas present in these tracks, but it is overshadowed by a somewhat uncomfortable listening experience. Maybe the sound is intentional on these tracks, but it leaves me wondering why, as for the most part it isn’t exactly pleasant. It’s a shame, as I feel that if the overall sound on these songs were refined enough, then it could help to elevate the album to greatness.
Overall, I find ‘Who’s Masquerade’ to be an incredibly interesting album. I’m somewhat polarised about my overall opinion of the album, as I feel it has some incredibly strong moments, and some weaker moments that do let the overall album down. That being said, it’s clear that there is a lot of talent on this album, and a lot of ideas being pushed forward through the music. There’s a raw creativeness at the core of the music, that gives off what I’d say is the true ‘indie-rock’ experience. A completely independent release that is true to the artist’s intentions and ideas. It’s essentially what music should be about at the end of the day, and it is actually pleasing to see artists out there simply just creating music because they can. I would say that there’s definitely more creativity and ideas present on this album, than there are on what is currently dominating the charts these days. I should say here that the album is currently available for free streaming, and free downloading from the artist’ website, and people can choose the option to pay for the album, which would certainly help ‘Who’s Masquerade’.
- ★★★☆☆ 3/5
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