Too Real

Too Real

by Giraffage

CD(Digi-Pak)

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Overview

Compared to many other post-chillwave electronic musicians who rose to prominence during the 2010s, Giraffage took a considerably long time to release his proper debut album. Too Real arrived on Counter Records in 2017, following six years' worth of EPs, digital mixtapes, and remixes that showcased Taiwanese-American producer Charlie Yin's skill for crafting dreamy, romantic beats laced with R&B vocals and wistful yet charming melodies. The album is a refinement of everything that was special about his music before, and turns out to be more than worth the wait. These are easily the most focused songs Yin has written so far, as well as the most intricately arranged, with unexpected tempo changes and mood shifts. The production is simply a lot fuller-sounding than his earlier material, but it never sounds overstuffed or too busy. Vocals continue to play a big part in his sound, and while he's typically relied on samples in the past, several guest vocalists help out, resulting in some of the standout songs of his career. Japanese Breakfast provides ethereal verses on "Maybes," a lightly racing tune with an electrifying dubstep-like instrumental chorus. "Slowly" is a futuristic interpretation of '80s pop, with bright synth melodies, glitch-heavy vocals courtesy of Matosic, and a general ecstatic feeling. "Green Tea," an ebullient house shuffler featuring Angelica Bess, is a bit more straightforward, but no less thrilling. While songs like these showcase Yin's gift for tweaking pop music conventions, he pushes things further on tracks like "Edge," which starts with fragmented R&B vocals and rising neon synths before slowing down and segueing into a tightly wound collage of hip-hop samples and flashy synth riffs. "Falling Softly" is a brief, vulnerable ballad featuring pitched-down vocals pleading "I need you," but instead of lingering on this downcast mood, Yin switches things up with the more playful "Earth," which is filled with flute-like pitch-bent melodies, sound effects such as chat notifications and screeching car tires, and a slower, synthwave-like breakdown with busy drum fills. While Yin's more prolific labelmates ODESZA prefer to make their albums epic, widescreen statements, Too Real is considerably more stripped down, barely lasting longer than half an hour. Despite its brevity, it remains consistently exciting, and sounds just as trippy as its stunning cover art, courtesy of Orange Milk co-founder Keith Rankin (aka Giant Claw).

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/2017
Label: Counter Records
UPC: 5054429120509
catalogNumber: 122
Rank: 115804

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