Real Estate - “Days”
"A City in Florida", most likely an homage to Miami, is a sledgehammer. Deadmau5’s pounding (and I mean pounding) bass and minimal melodic meddling make it a blunt instrument of expression. Though truly one could argue that articulating the milieu of dance clubs hardly requires the touch of a surgeon, what the Mr. Mau5’s work truly represents in a larger context is a musical counterpoint to subtler instrumentation, like guitars and vocals.
All argument to the subtelty of Dead’s craft aside, in the spectrum of music nuance, Days is less accurately described as a surgical knife and more accurately described as a feather duster. Akin to Smith Western’s Dye It Blonde, though appropriately lacking the static-charged lead guitar, I can make no argument against the quality of what has so gently tickled my eardrums for the past couple months. As scintillating as it is sultry, these pared down guitars and lilting vocals waltz into your subconscious like the gentle smile of a loved one or the disarming charm of an old church pastor (regardless of your spiritual affiliation).
So why bring up blunt electronica at all? Days stands on its own without counter-argument and its widespread accolades further obsolete any elaboration on its genius. But I beg to differ. You see, where Days truly stands apart is the very fact that it quietly, quietly, stands apart. While Oneohtrix Point Never blazes trails, ASAP Rocky drugs out rhymes, and Liturgy pisses off traditional metal fans, Days simply…exists. It forges no unexplored territory, causes no controversy, and appeals to no one in particular. Days is a quiet, effective, spectacular testament to the power of music, regardless and devoid of cultural trappings and pretense, to simply make one feel.
My unborn kids will one day wander in on me listening to this album and wonder where the wobble bass is. They may even share my frequently ignorant attitude toward old music that alone rifts generations of listeners. But regardless of their reaction, the music will continue its remarkable feat: standing completely alone and shining because of it.
Final score: 97