Reviewed by Eugenia Vela.
|Rating: 6.0 of 10.|
The sounds of Glasser, also known as one-woman band Cameron Mesirow, were totally inadequate for the beige walls that sheltered me as I listened to her debut full-length, Ring. Although I was surrounded by fellow students, inmersed in the contents of their Macbooks, giggling at YouTube clips and sipping on their Starbucks, it seemed I was in a world of my own. Separate and distant, the rhythm in my earphones was utterly absorbant, disturbingly so.
Many times, when seeing people walking along, iPod in hand, I wonder what they’re listening to. I wonder if their iPod is their one outlet for their Gaga obsession, or if they listen to the same Beatles song each morning on their way to wherever. Our iPod, where our music lives, has become one of the most private and revealing sources of who we are. And so when I was listening to Glasser, I wondered what a person might think if they were to come over, yank my earphones away, and listen.
The opening track, “Apply,” (originally from her EP of the same name) is enchantingly creepy, with powerful, dreamy chants reminiscent of a musically-aspired Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. The song’s pounding beats manage to be soothing, and in Glasser’s strange vocals, I find myself a listener in the middle of a psychedelic wonderland of clouds and swimming trees. But I’m not. I’m sitting on an uncomfortable chair in the middle of a beige room.
Glasser’s work serves as a magical method of transportation, each song a different setting, her voice beautiful and unsettling. Her experimental mixes could be described as imperfect, only because they are jagged and broken in chorus and percussion, resulting in what can only be described as chilling. The final minute of “Home” trembles and trembles, on and on until all that is left is a bell mumbling in the distance. It gives you chills.
But it is with a collection like Glasser’s that I wonder if music has become seasonal, mere glimpses of airy rhythms in the timeline of musical history. It seems we no longer make music that will last forever, because while listening to Ring, I know that I won’t look for it in my music library a couple of years from now. Maybe it’s just me, but what strikes me from this album is its ability to fit in everywhere just because it belongs nowhere. I’m listening to it now because I’m reviewing it, but if I weren’t, what kind of situation would I be in if I wanted to seek it out and play it? It’s beautiful music, but true music lives not only on our iPods to make up for our guilty pleasures, but in our speakers and our cars, in our minds, rotating constantly, muttering the words or drumming our fingers to its beat in the middle of a boring lecture.
I don’t believe Glasser makes that kind of music. I applaud Ring for the images it inspires, and the musician’s voice is powerful, sweet, sensual. Memorable. But the collection can still be recognized as one with too much of an effort, that I will listen to again only when my iPod surprises me as it shuffles quickly, past forgotten tunes.