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- Washed Out Paracosm Download Torrent Full
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Four years after “Feel It All Around” defined chillwave, Paracosm presents Ernest Greene as a man without a movement, someone whose music can no longer be used to project opinions about a larger trend. Produced again by Ben H. Allen, the album's instrumentation sloshes around in lush, warm reverb and palpable bass frequencies.
The titles of Washed Out’s breakthrough song and the first single from Paracosmshare the two most important words in Ernest Greene’s musical language: feel it. It’s a simple request, as well as the dividing line between those who think of Washed Out as an evocative catalyst of warm nostalgia and those who hear Greene as someone fumbling around for a tune like he's trying to find the snooze button. Four years after “Feel It All Around” defined chillwave, and two since Within and Withoutstood against the backlash, Paracosm presents Greene as a man without a movement, someone whose music can no longer be used to project opinions about a larger trend. Due to the attrition of his peers and imitators, as well as his own artistic refinement, this sound is all his now. While Paracosm isn’t going out of its way to convert anyone, it’s a modest display of staying power*,* proof that Greene is a niche artist who hasn't yet suffered from redundancy.
Greene’s referred to Paracosm as “daytime psychedelia,” a response to its predecessor’s nocturnal amorousness. Once again working with producer/engineer Ben H. Allen, the album's instrumentation sloshes around in lush, warm reverb and palpable bass frequencies. As such, each song is sensual and immersive, indulgent and often feeling shorter than their average five minute length would suggest. While Paracosm never rocks, it always knocks, as few producers are better than Allen at ensuring indie artists stress the low end. Under his hand, the tactility of Washed Out’s studio albums have stood out in comparison to any drizzly replicas that have followed.
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Elsewhere, Paracosm finds Greene doing subtle and effective troubleshooting. Though Within and Without wasn't a huge change for Washed Out's aesthetic, it was understandable why people who enjoyed his earliest work might’ve been turned off: “Feel It All Around” had an organic, homemade ingenuity, but Within blended nearly every known variant of makeout music-- shoegaze, Balearic, trip-hop, chillwave, R&B-- into a silken, sweet whole.
Paracosm possesses more texture, which can be partially attributed to the presence of a live rhythm section. “Entrance” begins with chirping birds, and elsewhere there's snippets of laughter, harps, house parties, bongos, and slight swings of human imperfection in the rhythm section. “It All Feels Right” bumps with light reggae upticks before momentarily collapsing into a sunstroke, while “Great Escape” leans off the beat just enough to generate a little bit of Southern soul.
The range of Paracosm helps Greene present himself as more of a singer/songwriter than a producer, though the former part of that dynamic still lags. His voice is an effective and imperfect apparatus that suggests rather than commands; his enunciation is still slack, as hard consonants and most vowel sounds dissolve into a semipermeable gauze. Maybe it’s for the best, though, since the lyrics of “It All Feels Right” are indicative of how much of Paracosm boils down to “Have a nice day” and not much more. However, Greene is growing in terms of melodic construct, as the chorus of “Don’t Give Up” is the strongest and trickiest he’s ever written. The way he manages the song's nimble rhythm suggests Washed Out’s future depends more on the development of Greene’s internal instruments rather than the external ones.
That said, Paracosm’s diversity leaves its individual songs subject to more scrutiny than they were on its overly cohesive predecessor. “Weightless” is equal parts Cocteau Twins and Calgon, but its soapy texture wants for Elizabeth Fraser’s fierce elocution and command of syllabic nonsense. And whether or not “Great Escape” is an intentional homage to “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)”, it’s probably in Greene’s best interest not to remind listeners of the difference between his vocals and those of Marvin Gaye.
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When Greene misses the mark, it’s a demonstration of his musical limitations as well as a counter to the misconception that Washed Out is unambitious or complacent. It’s not unthinkable for Greene to take notes from M83’s Anthony Gonzalez, another innovator in electro-pop ambience who learned to transcend the mumbly vocals of his early work by gradually embracing the role of a true frontman while working with powerhouse guest vocalists as well. But Paracosm is a document of someone who sounds satisfied with his place in life, and that can understandably drive people nuts. There’s plenty of art responsible for describing and inducing vertiginous highs and lows, and Paracosm is more than happy to soundtrack the satisfying moments that seek you out instead of the other way around, effectively triggering the kind of subtle joys that course through you without warning – manageable contentment, sustainable romance.
Those moods are easy to dismiss when they're captured in a lyric like 'Call your friends, I'll call mine/ We'll head out for a long ride/ Sun is coming out now, it all feels right.' There's a cognitive dissonance, and maybe some embarrassment, in recognizing that emotional state and hearing it expressed back to you in such naïve, plainspoken language. You can call it a guilty pleasure in action-- or, you can just take this accessible escapism at face value and just, you know, feel it.