OUTSIDE, PAPER BAG RECORDS
Outside is the second LP from Montreal-based electronica producer Michael Silver, following 2009’s Continent and a series of mixtapes and EPs. Much of Outside was composed on the road between various Canadian cities and the album definitely gives off that vibe: there’s a sense of expansive Canadiana to these tracks, a relaxed, meditative feeling of nights and days spent on the open road.
Silver’s mellow, melodic tunes swing from abstract electronic to introspective vocals and back again, with plenty of warm, comforting bass lines and beats along the way. That said, sometimes the vocals work as intended and sometimes they don’t. “The Forest at Night” is an example of the album’s high points, where the vocals aren’t too overpowering and blend perfectly with the subtle, ambient music. In other places, particularly on “Strange Form of Life”, both the beats and vocals veer too far into the realm of cheese. But when all is said and done, these are reflective and thoughtful tunes, just the kind of music to accompany a solo road trip full of heavy thinking and self-discovery.
By Genevieve Michaels