Lullaby gone wrong
If on this beautiful day, you’re deciding between listening to the new Luluc album or doing literally anything else on planet Earth, do yourself a favor and pick the latter. This record, entitled, Sculptor, is the third one from this Brooklyn-based Australian duo Zoe Randell and Steve Hassett, but to the untrained ear, it could definitely pass as a “Best of” collection from the first and second albums. You’ve got the official confirmation here: it is, in fact, a brand new album! Since it’s obvious that sugar coating is out of the question on this one, let’s jump right in and discuss some issues with this drawn-out, lullaby-gone-wrong album.
Luluc presents a commendable unified vision on this album as the songs express clear feelings of frustration with suburban monotony and a desire to break free from the constraints of the hazy mediocrity of time. Unfortunately though, that clear vision is hard to care about with such an uninspiring arrangement of music pushing these stories forward. Almost every track has a timid combination of muted drums and soft guitar strumming that just makes the entire journey of the album blend together.
“Spring,” the first track on the album, opens too abruptly and without enough energy from the hesitant piano and guitar trailing in the background. In addition, lyrics like “When spring comes, in all green things that grow/ A new pulse of life, beats warmly all aglow,” seem a bit elementary and vague. Fast forward a couple tracks to “Controversy,” where Randell recites an excerpt from George Johnston’s classic Australian novel My Brother Jack saying, “What was so terrifying about these suburbs was that they accepted their mediocrity.” Fitting lyric for the tale of this record? Yes. Should Randell ever awkwardly sing prose over a quiet strumming of guitar again? Absolutely not.
Surface level lyrics continue in “Me and Jasper,” a track that has the potential to be a killer anthem for anyone trying to find their place in the world, but it unfortunately sticks to a similar forgettable combination of muted accompaniment and monotone vocals from Randell. Wanna take a guess at how the next three songs sound? You guessed it, the same.
Overall, Sculptor is a hard pass. Although it’s obvious that Luluc knows what they want to say to the world at this time, it seems they need to find a new bag of tricks before they’ll find people who want to listen… because right now people are just sleeping. People are hearing Sculptor and they are very asleep.