Atlas Sound’s Logos is weirdly immersive in the best possible way

atlassoundlogos

Did I make that album cover big enough for you? Well, I sure hope I did!

Atlas Sound is the side project of Bradford Cox, much of the creative force behind Deerhunter. On Logos, his second full length under the Atlas Sound moniker, he reaches deep into his trippy bag of tricks to produce one of those great albums that flies by rather formlessly, the kind of album you can’t help but love when it’s over.

It begins with “The Light that Failed,” the only real misfire on the album. Foreign sounds bump into acoustic guitar, Cox’s voice and each other, aimlessly drifting around in space without ever really congealing. Perhaps the song was meant to serve as a mood-setting intro, but at nearly five minutes without any sense of movement, it feels too long.

The rest of Logos, though, succeeds wildly. The first released song, a duet with Panda Bear (née Noah Lennox) called “Walkabout,” sounds lifted straight from the 1960s (probably because it is — the main organ riff is sampled from the 1966 song by The Dovers, “What am I Gonna Do?”). It’s the most accessible song on the album, if only because it has a set structure.

After that song, which is third on the album, Logos begins to turn into that formless mass I sort of mentioned above. And that’s great, mind you. Cox’s vocals are perpetually understated, and the largely acoustic-based soundscapes never become too overbearing. “Quick Canal” counters any boredom on the listener’s end by showcasing inspired guest vocals from Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), and by the time the album ends with the dreamy “Washington School” and the surprisingly the poppy title track, you’ll wonder where the time went.

Logos rarely commands your attention, but succeeds most in complementing your mood. When I was walking around, listening to the album, I’d find myself lost in thought, rarely concentrating on the music I was listening to. But then, when I drew myself back to reality, I would realize how fitting Logos was, how it bypassed just my ears and dug right into my brain.

And I still can’t get “Walkabout” out of my head.

Atlas Sound – “Walkabout (With Noah Lennox)” [MP3]

Atlas Sound – “My Halo” [MP3]

Atlas Sound on MySpace

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