The goal of creating a soothing atmosphere was muddled by plainness and lack of developed musical ideas. For the most part, the sound did carry a sense of comfort and chill, with a soft beat and neat chordal synthesizer being the only significant texture for most of the album. However, it also came to be very forgettable, as nothing that was added to this foundation had a truly likeable quality or life of their own, be it a repeating line or doubled vocal or a non-sequitor intro. The melodies were quite underwhelming, coming off as afterthoughts or improvisations due to the lack of connection with the harmony and plain, boring shapes. The sung lines, while not overly distracting and easy to listen to, played no real part in the music at all, unless the listener has the lyrics in front of them and craves seeking lyrical meaning beyond everything else. To that end, those types of listeners probably wouldn’t gravitate toward this style of chill, uninvolved music anyways. The overall songwriting and organization came across as forced and unnecessary, as if there was a need to comply with certain musical conventions over following a more genuine creative process. This music did not need plain melodic lines thrust into the foreground; it needed more direction and care for the timbre to ultimately find a sonic atmosphere worth delving into. Aaron Maine, the musician behind Porches, did not go far enough in following his overall ideas and intentions, instead stopping short to rely on basic textural organization of dominant melody and ordinary rhythmic drive. It turns out that the regressions towards the norm, for lack of a better term, were noticeably weak in composition and took away from the sonic goals trying to be achieved. In turn, the sound wasn’t able to hold consistent interest or engagement on its own. The weaknesses in the timbre, from the off-putting pitch bend synth in the song “Wobble” to the pointless high octave voice double in the song “Ono” and others, were quite magnified and came to be extra annoying as it was the only aspect of the song demanding attention. Indeed, this album would be best for those who don’t actually pay attention to the music they’re listening to and just want to chill with some familiar noises while having a sense of accomplishment for listening to something new. I did enjoy a few of the ear-catching harmonic progressions in songs like “Find Me” and “Anymore”, which did pretty well to branch out and provide direction as well as a ground for the melody to utilize, even though it went rather unused. Those certain progressions were polished and unique without being too fancy, but the polish was not always there and some songs left the harmony out to dry with repetitions of two or three useless chords, like in “Country”. The moments of mixed meter did not come across with any conviction and instead sounded rather messy, like a boring blurry collage instead of a clear picture. There were some interesting spots that caught my ear here and there, and the soft sound was just pleasing and sensible enough, but it’s not worth an entire listen. That is unless, like I said earlier, you don’t really like paying much attention to the music you listen to in the first place.

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