On his debut album You Are All I See, Active Child (the moniker of Patrick James Grossi) has produced an album that is similar to the uniqueness of M83’s release Saturdays=Youth, yet different enough to stand as its own release. They both feature ambient vocals, catchy synth, and a sound that seems to defy mainstream. This, however, is where the similarities end.
With a combination of bad hair bands and the infamous joke of a song which has the prank connotation better known as the “Rick Roll,” not much can be said for the musical contributions the 80s offered. However, they did inspire a style of music that is growing in popularity, yet is still being created by pioneering artists such as Active Child. If it could be labeled into a new genre, it would be best listed as “Post-80s Alternative.” In this genre, the created music takes the flare of the ambient sound and removes all of the crap, making the music not only much more bearable, but also catchy, unique, and groundbreaking, and with time, it could grow in popularity.
The third track on the album, “Playing House,” is a brilliantly crafted song that features so much uniqueness that it just might be the next big sound in music. Grossi has already released this as the first single for the album, a smart move on their part. The song has a beauty to it that is mesmerizing and addictive. Active Child has managed to find a way to make auto-tune cool. With an incredible hip hop-style beat and the song’s 80s flare, the auto-tune is a nice addition that adds to the uniqueness of the track.
The album title track features an extremely unique use of a harp, and plays almost like a Sigur Ros song. It seems as though the band is going for a very calm, yet beautiful sound on this album, and this track is a great example of that.
“See Thru Eyes” has a beat similar to that song during the dance scene in Napoleon Dynamite, but without the corny factor. This song features some of the most incredible vocals on this album, and a brilliantly ambient synth tone.
The album’s sixth track, “Ivy,” is an incredibly crafted track. This song is much more instrumentally driven, featuring no vocals. Sigur Ros is truly a great comparison, because it sounds similar, but with a much more electronic feel to it. Although this is the only track the band attempts this on, the sound works well, and would be good to hear more of in the future.
Attention needs to be brought to the vocals on “Way Too Fast,” because they are created wonderfully well. With a Radiohead-esque sound to them, they are yet another amazingly unique factor to this album. Although similar to Thom Yorke’s creation, Active Child has a factor that is truly his own, making them ingenious.
Active Child has created an album that’s beautifully unique. Overall, this album has a mesmerizing feel to it, that is consequently addictive and extremely catchy. It’s always great to hear something that goes against the grain in music, and on You Are All I See, the band makes their own rules on what is music. This is an artist to watch in the future.