We first came across electronic-classical duo SomethingALaMode aeons ago courtesy of the ‘Hooked On Collette’ compilation, a compilation that was probably the last hipster-fashion-arent-we-cool collection of songs we’ve actually liked and tried to force on people. Their debut, self-titled album is extremely good and if you are reading this without listening to that one first, go away and come back to this review once you’ve done that. If we aren’t laying on the, “Our expectations for this are quite high” vibe enough, I guess finally mentioning/bragging seeing them perform live with Chilly Gonzales was pretty awesome too. Right, lets talk about their second album, Endless Stairs.
Firstly, lets get the negative out of the way first because if we write the negative first and end on a positive people might not mistake this for a bad review, just like the time we reviewed that Breakbot album (which we do own and kinda like tbh). The tracks with vocals on them? Hate them. That might seem blunt and it is, but that’s the closest we can provide an opinion on them without any swears. However, we understand why they do exist though and imagine the following scenario…
Now for some incredibly awesome positives about the album. That ‘rap’ track that we made fun of in the second image? Not even on the album. Tracks out of the 12 which have vocals on them? Only four! If you want to be pedantic, it’s actually five and that would ruin the whole structure of this review because one of them is actually not just good, it’s actually superb. It is though, the instrumentals which are star of this album and none more so than, “Kairos“.
It’s a track like this which makes SomethingALaMode great, the way it builds and is quite intense but at the same time it’s very exciting. The melding of classical and electronic is pretty damn perfect in our opinion. Although, we haven’t yet, we know that even after a hundred plays, this track still won’t be boring. The same goes for a track like “Julius” which is really playful and just a delight to listen to.
As for the track with vocals we liked, “Versailles No Bara” is technically more of spoken-word type of thing to be honest and that’s why we are trying not to include it as part of our vocals rant ;D. We’re very pleased this made the cut on the album as originally it was a b-side on their, “Show Me” EP and if you missed it first time round, you are in for a real treat!
If review scores are your thing: 8/10
If review scores aren’t your thing: We won’t feel guilty if you spend your money on this.