Destroyer, the long-awaited second album from electronic band Telepathe, has just hit the market. Word of advice: save your time, save your money, save your eardrums. Upon starting the first track, the titular, tinny, and incredibly derivative “Destroyer“, my eardrums are immediately treated to an unbalanced mess. Tell me, when you listen, you notice that incredibly distracting refrain? The one that overshadows the vocals and pretty much every other musical component? Sounds familiar, right? It should.
That is the great Glenn Miller (pictured right), famous not only for his multiple musical contributions, but also his 1944 disappearance. Moonlight Serenade, the track utilized by Telepathe, was often heard on Miller’s radio programs, and has been covered by multiple artists (including Frank Sinatra).
Here’s the thing though, there’s a difference between covering, sampling, and flat-out ripping off. Frank Sinatra covered the song and another artist could sample it and integrate it into their own work. Telepathe, however, allows it to become the dominant focus of the song to the detriment of all the others. There’s a word for that kind of implementation, derivative.
The rest of the album isn’t much better. Though there are obvious similarities between Telepathe’s works and other works, (is it just me or does Damaged Raid sound like a slower version of Cher’s Believe?) they don’t annoy or distract as much as the sheer boredom and lack of passion in the atmosphere presented by Telepath. Everything distinguishable appears to be a moaning on the issues of relationships. Look, that works for two, maybe three tracks. We get it. Find something more engaging. There’s nothing inherently wrong with smooth, angsty, or subdued, but, except in certain circumstances, you need to have some passion!
Thankfully, there are two major exceptions to this rule on Telepathe’s album: “Slow Learner” and “Someone is Home”.
“Slow Learner”, unlike the other tracks, begins not only on a slightly more upbeat tune, but a captivating one as well. The vocals are still subdued, but the strength comes not from the volume rather than the passion of the artist. The voice modulation does make the lyrics a little more difficult to make out, but not to any major detriment.
Likewise, “Someone is Home” makes far better use of the subdued vocal style than the rest of the album, contrasting it against the powerful drum beats so that, when the artist displays strong emotion, it’s a lot more noticeable than before. Unfortunately, the voice modulation again makes most of the lyrics difficult to distinguish, but it is still a massive improvement.
Telepathe, I know you can do better. “Slow Learner” and “Someone is Home” are proof of that. If more of the album had the quality of those songs, this review would be far more favorable. If “Destroyer” scaled back the sampling, it’d be a far superior track. You are not bad musicians, you are not poor artists. You just need to adjust your priorities. Telepathe’s “Destroyer” is available where music is sold on August 7, 2015. I get the direction you were trying to go in, and I respect it. Just, keep trying.