Review: Papunta Pabalik by Autotelic

Papunta, Pabalik by AutotelicAs one of the few indie bands in this time period to have successfully (by some measures) crossed over to the other side, so to speak, there’s a lot of anticipation surrounding Autotelic’s new album. For the most part, Papunta Pabalik delivers: with a keen sense of pop it delivers almost fifty minutes’ worth of apparent sunshine with a lurking sense of despair lying underneath. I’d love to assume this decision reflects the whole mindset of keeping a happy face while letting every bad thing stew underneath (because, well, who wants to see that, right?) That said, I was looking for shade. Songs may start on varying notes, but everything ends on this upbeat, relentless sunny vibe – not exactly sing-along, but almost there – that quashes the gravitas I was looking for. Not that I wanted a very serious album, but, you know, it felt like watching a crime procedural: you have the characters, but you keep on seeing plots that start a certain way and almost always ends up resolved at the end. Didn’t help the songs average five minutes, too. I should at least appreciate the funky undertones, but the lack of a natural ending just got in the way. [NB]3/5

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