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Album Review: Washed Out’s Mister Mellow

Lila Miller, A&E Editor

mistermellow

Washed Out’s album cover art for latest album Mister Mellow. 

“Music plays a big part in keeping me happy or/ Keeping me just/ From not flipping out/And keeping me sane,” lead singer Ernest Greene from the band Washed Out sings in “Down and out”, the seventh track off his latest album “Mister Mellow”.

Washed Out released its third album June 29, and the saying “third time’s a charm” certainly rings true in this case. Washed Out continues to pioneer the Chillwave movement with this album featuring psychedelic, earthy sounds layered with synthesizers, drum machines and distortion. Beyond the instrumentation, Washed Out is peppered with seemingly simple, yet sharp emotive lyrics and voice-overs.

For instance, in the fifth track, Greene reminisces on his disconnect between illusion, reality and failed relationships, “I daydream when I walk/ I daydream when I’m in class/ I daydream when I dance/ Next time around/ I’ll watch the words I say/ Next time around/ I’ll bury my love/ And hide it away.”

Despite Greene’s sometimes startling lyricism and elongated voiceovers, the albumcleverly parallels Washed Out’s previous two albums “Paracosm” and “Within and Without”. The danceable tracks that popularized Greene continue to shine within “Mister Mellow”.

Although this album is in many ways a success, the album itself is relatively short. With several songs more akin to intros or musical segues, the album clocks in at just 29 minutes in playing time.  Meanwhile, the duration of Washed Out’s previous albums are closer to 40 minutes in playing time.

Overall, the album is cohesive, but lacks in terms of artistic progression. Perhaps the danceable tunes and “chill vibes” Greene evokes are just renditions of Washed Out’s previous albums, regardless of being a pioneer of this sub-genre.

In this album, an overall a feeling of pure relaxation is felt in the tempo of the tracks and slowed vocals, but Greene might want to take his next venture more seriously if he wants to continue making progress as a musician.

Washed Out is a band based in Athens, Ga. The lead and only singer is Ernest Greene. Washed Out has released a total of three albums; his latest “Mister Mellow” can be found via Stonethrow Records, streaming on Spotify and in local record stores.

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