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Album Review
mike


Blanketship: Teen Sounds
2008
Gigante Sound
Produced, Recorded, and Mixed by Jared Blum at Bloom Studios, SF
Mastered by Mike Measer at Red Lines Audio

4 out of 5 mics

Teen Sounds is a pretty remarkable album. It's contradictory in many ways. The sounds and songs are often somewhat dissonant but yet very pleasing to the ear. They are quite dark yet also uplifting and enjoyable. Finally, the album is somber but comedic at the same time.

I was thoroughly impressed with the subtlety and complexity of this album from the first listen. The songs are composed by use of sampling, manipulation of tape reels and vinyl records, and also live instrumentation. The sounds are manipulated, distorted, arranged, and mixed in such a way as to make it almost impossible to tell where a sample ends and live instrumentation begins. The term "sound collage" falls short of conveying the sophistication of Teen Sounds, but is probably the most appropriate description.

Teen Sounds is full of memorable and haunting melodies, absolutely bizarre sounds, and distorted samples that you can't quite place. Blanketship, aka Jared Blum knew exactly what he was doing and where he was going with these songs. At no point does the album lose its way. The songs move in a clear direction. Blum's composition and arrangement skills are apparent throughout. Teen Sounds is extremely well crafted, original, and surprisingly accessible.

The mixing, by Blum, serves each song individually and the album as a whole. It's quite dense, with a powerful bottom end, but with clear highs that give the album a spacious sound. There's so much going on in these songs it would have been easy to end up with a muddled mix. But Blum makes excellent use of reverb to give the songs the width and depth required.

I had the pleasure of mastering Teen Sounds, a very unique, experimental, and rewarding album.