Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?
“Deerhunter’s latest is a bleak affair,” said David Sackllah in ConsequenceOfSound.net. For 18 years, the Atlanta indie-rock band has written music about deeply personal hardships. Here, though, frontman Bradford Cox turns his gaze outward to contemplate death and destruction in the world around him. On “Element,” he “crafts a horrifying tableau worthy of a Don DeLillo novel, conjuring a world of toxic orange clouds, cancer, and coming apocalypse,” said Mark Richardson in The Wall Street Journal. Fortunately, the band leavens the pervasive doomsday vibe with “clean and stately” music featuring acoustic guitars, string-like synths, even bits of harpsichord. The “uniformly grim” second half of the album does drag a bit, especially because a few songs seem underwritten. But even the fragments partially work, because they contribute to a sense of collage. “Rather than penning an editorial, Cox offers a bulletin board jammed with clipped headlines and photographs covered with notes and doodles.” ■