Just Leave It Outside
Bringing us “new age thoughts from Montreal” is electronic artist CFCF. His sophomore album, Outside, was released by Paper Bag Records on October 22. CFCF has been hailed as an inventive mixer, and he’s done remix work on songs from artists such as Holy Ghost!, Crystal Castles and Sally Shapiro, as well as releasing several EPs and singles since 2008. With only one album and fair reviews, its obvious there’s still room for growth for our Mr. CFCF. How does Outside match up with the rest of his releases?
Outside definitely has the markings of a CFCF work. His music tends to have a steady, solid pace that builds on the same sounds over and over. However, where CFCF’s other releases have a certain pep and vibrancy, Outside comes off as tired and formulaic. There is a certain relaxation to be found within the repetitive weaving of soft bass and synth, but there’s nothing about the album that reaches out and grabs you. There are no sophomoric leaps across new boundaries. The album as a whole leaves you feeling as if you’ve just sat through the same song ten times over. Many of the songs hearken back to the cheesy soft-rock of the ’80s (think Phil Collins meets Flock of Seagulls hair), but without the ironic charm.
This statement isn’t typed lightly, but it feels as if CFCF’s efforts on Outside are lazy and uninspired—especially when compared to his earlier work. There’s no heart to the album and it becomes a drag for the listener to endure. The album isn’t working to make you love it; it simply exists. Definitely give it a shot for curiosity’s sake—you never know which albums will hit you in that special way—this reviewer only recommends you find an inexpensive way to do so.