Clark 'Clark' Review: A Sly and Surprising Electronica Album

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The newest full length album put forth from English musician by the same name, Chris Clark--who performs under the mononym Clark--is a lyric-less eletronica rhythm that haphazardly, yet magically, blends together from start to finish.

'Clark' is surprising and mysterious both in its delivery and tone.

Each song on the album begins one way and ends another, guiding the listener to not necessary believe everything they hear.

It's easy to imagine this album as the perfect soundtrack to a dark and ominous tall tale of your choosing, lead by the sole light of Clark's synthesizer.

Every great electronic album begins with a worthy intro, and SHIP IS FLOODING leaves nothing to be desired.

It sets the tone with a rhythm of heavy bumps in the night and some sinister and sly synth pulls. The pace is surprising and the build up rewarding, and sets the tone like the prologue for an epic poem.

The steady introduction slips into the careful, deliberate trance of WINTER LINN. Carried primarily by the windy wheezing of his synthesizer, Clark spots the song with a swirling of piano keys and steady pops. The vibe is spot on, and the best way to understand the groove is to listen to it yourself:

UNFURLA is possibly the least put-together song on the album, characterized by a hodgepodge collection of jingles, chimes and horns.

It's uneven-ness is noticeable, and not altogether pleasant to listen to, and simply seems out of place with the rest of the songs.

Nevertheless, it acts like many songs on the album, which complement and create the overall vibe as a foreboding and mysterious indulgence. The song's mild misplacement does more to thrill the listener than confuse them.

STRENGTH THROUGH FRAGILITY pulls the listener from a soft and seemingly harmless piano draw through a fearsome and statically interlude into the dance-anthem, SODIUM TRIMMERS. Listening through SODIUM TRIMMERS, the listener is thrust into the unfamilar, and brought for a ride through what seems like wild and foreign place.

The sudden introduction to BANJO is a jarring experience in the best way possible for a fan of electronica.

It's filled with uncommon rhythm combinations and unsteady beats, which translate well into it's sort of sister song, SNOWBIRD. A mysterious voice chimes above the blow of a steady, menacing beat, like a child lookout warning of an approaching army.

By the time THE GRIT IN THE PEARL appears, its appears the army has moved on and a lighter pairing of chimes and playfulness take hold.

Yet as the track fades to silence, judging from past experience with the tracks put forth, the listener is left to wait in anticipation for what comes next.

As BEACON takes over, the listener is lead into unknown territory yet again.

The softness and comforting melody is nothing but a ruse as it falls into PETROLEUM TINGED, a moody and cavernous song which acts like a closing interlude to this leg of the journey.

SILVERED IRIS takes us back to the rapid and layered sounds of the beginning of the album, incorporating a quick beat with fantastical elements: harp-like harmonies, and sluggish strikes, all racing to a final peak.

As the peak completes, THERE'S A DISTANCE IN YOU begins with a slow start. Like a race straight out of Mario Kart, the song incorporates 8-bit beats until the long and drawn out finish line is met.

The final track on the album--EVERLANE--is a perfect summary of the experience of the listener: a mystical pinnacle, dreamlike and ethereal in its simplicity.

It is like the perfect timely death after a long, confusing and strenuous journey, and leaves the listener satisfied and with a feeling of completeness.