Keep it simple; keep it safe. It seems our beloved Real Estate is still living by those six simple words. We have always been able to rely on the trio for consistency in their relaxing, soft, indie rock sound and Atlas follows suit. Frontman Martin Courtney has yet to induce a “wow” factor using his vocals, but what he lacks in vociferation is compensated by the crisp, nostalgic, heart-tugging melodies and deceptive textures throughout the piece. The prominently instrumental, ageless, guitar-laden tracks show no sign of surrender for these New Jerseyites.
The single, “Talking Backwards,” and the following track, “Primitive,” stand apart from the album while still travelling down the same road. The light and airy summertime reminiscing is catchy enough to play repetitively in your mind and repetitive this record is. While the band succeeds at adding intrinsic value to a hedonistic lifestyle, it’s time for a change. They provide us with the same tempo, beat and nostalgia we loved from their 2009 self-titled release and Days, released two years later, but a third album with little to differentiate the three sounds somewhat redundant. That being said, Atlas does rely heavily on wistful ambience and isn’t as light and fun-loving as past offerings. It seems that they have removed their bohemian beach house and entered a world where one can only dream in regrets.
By Paige Paquette