Little Dragon has two elements. There are the wonderful, crystal-clear vocals. I have no problem at all with the vocals. Any voice that smooth is fine with me. My concern has to do with the back-up. Sometimes the arrangements are a bit thin to me or a tad bit too eccentric (hence awkward). When these arrangements match up with the vocals I’m given a vision of a potentially better sound.
Now I’m a huge fan of repetition. Love it. I can’t get enough of it. A main component in repetition is: is it worth repeating? “Summertearz” does not meet the criteria. It’s awkward, slow-moving, and a bit too odd for its own good. “Please Turn” barely evolves at all; it feels like an endless loop which greatly outstays its welcome. Same goes for the song “Crystalfilm” which lasts for nearly five uneventful minutes. Meanwhile, songs with a thicker, more fleshed out song are simply grand.
Songs like “Shuffle a dream” have a bouncy, fun feel to them. I like the playful sound. Build-ups, when they do occur (which isn’t too often, quite a shame) are my favorites. “Nightlife” possesses a nice groove to it. Here the vocals and loops match up wonderfully. Had “Ritual Union” had more songs like this one I’d be more than happy. It sounds terrific.
Overall, this is a strange album. The times where they appear to hit their stride are fleeting. Much of the album employs a thin, overly-repetitive sound. Vocal-wise it is wonderful. Perhaps next time they’ll do a better job of creating something a tad more engaging.