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The Avalanches - Wildflower

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Wildflower

The Avalanches

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In the 15-plus years since they released their masterpiece of sample-based electronica, Since I Left You, the Avalanches have been legendary ghosts kept alive by hopes, rumors, and memories of greatness compounded by a lack of anyone coming along to fill their shoes. With the release of 2016's Wildflower, the group stages a comeback that sadly falls short of expectations, but still ends up being a pretty good album anyway. In fact, if it hadn't been made by the Avalanches, it may even be a great album. The record is filled with their trademarks: heavy doses of summer sun so bright they seem to glisten more than shine, beats that seem to be constructed from bubblegum and rubber bands, samples that are witty and fit together like puzzle pieces. Kicking off with a track that sounds like part two of "Since I Left You," "Because I'm Me" seems headed for the same patch of nirvana when it is suddenly derailed by some rapping from Camp Lo that grounds the heavenly sounds in some real-life grit. Not only is the rapping here a distraction, it's the first of many guest appearances that serve to spoil what made Since I Left You so special. It had a timeless, immaculately constructed sound that was insular in the best way, made by a band of like-minded record geeks merrily toiling away over samplers and vinyl to create something brilliant. All the guest appearances on Wildflower not only wreck that feeling, but they are unnecessary. The Avalanches are masters at creating new melodies out of old records, fresh feelings out of lost snippets of sound; now they are kind of cheating by bringing in a bunch of people to do the heavy lifting for them -- and it's kind of like cheating when they don't have to. Not only do the many rappers (Danny Brown, MF Doom, Biz Markie, and others) sound out of place, the plethora of indie rockers (like Toro y Moi, Father John Misty, and Jennifer Herrema) do too. They all seem slapped on after the songs were already done, adding very little to the sounds already there. Only the two tracks featuring Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue ("Colours," "Kaleidoscope Lovers") work well since they sound like true collaborations. Skipping the songs with guest appearances leaves behind an album that sounds like fragments of a worthy follow-up in many ways, with smile-inducing tracks like "Subways," which borrows huge chunks of Chandra's song of the same name, soundtracks for daydreams ("Sunshine"), and short sampledelic bits that end too quickly. It's a shame the group didn't expand on these self-contained songs more, leave off the pasted-in vocals that clutter things up and detract from the magic in the grooves, and build them into something more like Since I Left You. By focusing on outsiders instead of trusting their crate-digging genius, the Avalanches shortchanged themselves and ended up making the best psychedelic Chemical Brothers album ever instead of making another classic Avalanches album.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo

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Wildflower

The Avalanches

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1
The Leaves Were Falling
00:00:15

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

2
Because I'm Me
00:04:13

Saladine Wallace, Composer - Salahadeen Wilds, Composer - Barney Perkins, Composer - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Gregory Perry, Composer - Norman Johnson, Composer - Geechi Suede, AssociatedPerformer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Sonny Cheeba, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

3
Frankie Sinatra
00:03:44

Danny Brown, Lyricist, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Composer - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Wilmoth Houdini, Lyricist, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Dumile, Lyricist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Michel Bernard, Orchestra - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

4
Subways
00:03:11

PATRICK SIMMONS, Composer - Barry Gibb, ComposerLyricist - Robin Gibb, ComposerLyricist - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Steven Alexander, ComposerLyricist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Chandra Oppenheim, ComposerLyricist - Eugenie Disario, ComposerLyricist - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

5
Going Home
00:02:07

Barry Gibb, ComposerLyricist - Robin Gibb, ComposerLyricist - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Maurice Gibb, ComposerLyricist - KEVIN PARKER, AssociatedPerformer - David McMurray, ComposerLyricist - Gene Dunlap, ComposerLyricist - Kathy Kosins, ComposerLyricist - Ryeisha Berrain, AssociatedPerformer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Steven Alexander, Composer - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Chandra Oppenheim, Composer - Eugenie Disario, Composer - Parick Simmons, ComposerLyricist - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

6
If I Was a Folkstar
00:04:33

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Chaz Bundick, Lyricist, AssociatedPerformer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tony DiBlasi, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Dionte Rembert, AssociatedPerformer - Arrias Walls, AssociatedPerformer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Jonti Danielwitz, AssociatedPerformer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

7
Colours
00:03:32

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Jonathan Donahue, Lyricist - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Scott Pettito, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

8
Zap!
00:01:59

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license toXL Recordings Ltd

9
The Noisy Eater
00:03:15

John Lennon, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Biz Markie, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Frazier, Engineer - Jean-Michel Bernard, Orchestra - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

10
Wildflower
00:01:15

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Jonathan Donahue, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Michel Bernard, Composer, Orchestra, AssociatedPerformer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

11
Harmony
00:03:49

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Jonathan Donahue, AssociatedPerformer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Leslie Ritter, AssociatedPerformer - Beth Chapin Reineke, AssociatedPerformer - Alise Marie, AssociatedPerformer - Jonti Danielwitz, AssociatedPerformer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer - Shaggs Chamberlain, AssociatedPerformer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

12
Live a Lifetime Love
00:02:31

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Dominique Clarke, AssociatedPerformer - Dionte Rembert, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Arrias Walls, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Rosalinda Ruiz, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

13
Park Music
00:00:54

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

14
Livin' Underwater (Is Somethin' Wild)
00:01:56

Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Linda Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Jay Ferguson, ComposerLyricist - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

15
The Wozard of Iz
00:03:00

Danny Brown, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tommy James, ComposerLyricist - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Mike Vale, ComposerLyricist - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Dominique Clarke, AssociatedPerformer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

16
Over the Turnstiles
00:00:42

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - James Pepper, ComposerLyricist - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

17
Sunshine
00:03:37

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Bobby Goldsboro, ComposerLyricist - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Sheila Young, ComposerLyricist - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

18
Light Up
00:01:35

Randy Newman, ComposerLyricist - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Clarence Newton Burke, ComposerLyricist - Gregory K. Fowler, ComposerLyricist - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

19
Kaleidoscopic Lovers
00:03:55

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Jonathan Donahue, AssociatedPerformer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - J. Donahue, ComposerLyricist - Scott Pettito, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

20
Stepkids
00:04:33

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Warren Ellis, AssociatedPerformer - Lou Barlow, ComposerLyricist - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Jennifer Herrema, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - J. Herrrema, ComposerLyricist - K. Midness, ComposerLyricist - Nadav Eisenman, Engineer - Kurt Midness, AssociatedPerformer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

21
Saturday Night Inside Out
00:05:07

Joe LaPorta, Engineer - The Avalanches, MainArtist - David Berman, AssociatedPerformer - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Josh Tillman, AssociatedPerformer - D. Berman, ComposerLyricist - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Loney John Hutchins, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

22
Frankie Sinatra (Extended Mix)
00:04:28

Danny Brown, Lyricist, AssociatedPerformer - Richard Rodgers, Composer - Oscar Hammerstein II , Composer - Joe LaPorta, Engineer - Wilmoth Houdini, Lyricist, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Dumile, Lyricist, AssociatedPerformer - Jean-Michel Bernard, Orchestra - The Avalanches, MainArtist - Robbie Chater, Composer, Producer, Mixer, AssociatedPerformer - Tony DiBlasi, Composer, AssociatedPerformer - Aaron Dobos, Engineer - Tony Espie, Mixer - Matthew Neighbour, Engineer - Michael O'Conell, Engineer

2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd 2016 Modular Recordings under exclusive license to XL Recordings Ltd

Descrizione dell'album

In the 15-plus years since they released their masterpiece of sample-based electronica, Since I Left You, the Avalanches have been legendary ghosts kept alive by hopes, rumors, and memories of greatness compounded by a lack of anyone coming along to fill their shoes. With the release of 2016's Wildflower, the group stages a comeback that sadly falls short of expectations, but still ends up being a pretty good album anyway. In fact, if it hadn't been made by the Avalanches, it may even be a great album. The record is filled with their trademarks: heavy doses of summer sun so bright they seem to glisten more than shine, beats that seem to be constructed from bubblegum and rubber bands, samples that are witty and fit together like puzzle pieces. Kicking off with a track that sounds like part two of "Since I Left You," "Because I'm Me" seems headed for the same patch of nirvana when it is suddenly derailed by some rapping from Camp Lo that grounds the heavenly sounds in some real-life grit. Not only is the rapping here a distraction, it's the first of many guest appearances that serve to spoil what made Since I Left You so special. It had a timeless, immaculately constructed sound that was insular in the best way, made by a band of like-minded record geeks merrily toiling away over samplers and vinyl to create something brilliant. All the guest appearances on Wildflower not only wreck that feeling, but they are unnecessary. The Avalanches are masters at creating new melodies out of old records, fresh feelings out of lost snippets of sound; now they are kind of cheating by bringing in a bunch of people to do the heavy lifting for them -- and it's kind of like cheating when they don't have to. Not only do the many rappers (Danny Brown, MF Doom, Biz Markie, and others) sound out of place, the plethora of indie rockers (like Toro y Moi, Father John Misty, and Jennifer Herrema) do too. They all seem slapped on after the songs were already done, adding very little to the sounds already there. Only the two tracks featuring Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue ("Colours," "Kaleidoscope Lovers") work well since they sound like true collaborations. Skipping the songs with guest appearances leaves behind an album that sounds like fragments of a worthy follow-up in many ways, with smile-inducing tracks like "Subways," which borrows huge chunks of Chandra's song of the same name, soundtracks for daydreams ("Sunshine"), and short sampledelic bits that end too quickly. It's a shame the group didn't expand on these self-contained songs more, leave off the pasted-in vocals that clutter things up and detract from the magic in the grooves, and build them into something more like Since I Left You. By focusing on outsiders instead of trusting their crate-digging genius, the Avalanches shortchanged themselves and ended up making the best psychedelic Chemical Brothers album ever instead of making another classic Avalanches album.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo

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