Review: Tape Loops by Chris Walla

Tape Loops by Chris WallaYou’d expect Chris Walla’s first solo album after leaving Death Cab for Cutie to get a bit of hype because, well, he was with Death Cab for Cutie. That isn’t the case for Tape Loops, and it’s easy to see why: it’s no rehash of his old band’s tricks. In fact, it couldn’t be any more different: it’s an ambient record, very much along the lines of Brian Eno’s most definitive work, and it’s one that rewards multiple listens in different situations. In a sprawling 39 minutes, Tape Loops slyly exhibits a deliberate craftiness: of motifs wafting in and out, of patterns emerging and then being quietly subverted, of a sense of calm that manages to draw you in nonetheless. Abstract yet accessible, elegant yet quietly mechanical, the record creeps up on you with its melancholy and quiet. So… come to think of it, not really that different from his old haunts. A radically different approach, sure, but equally satisfying if it turns you on the right way. [NB] | 4/5

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