Title: Con Todo El Mundo
Release: January 26, 2018
When I see an album with a Spanish title by a band whose name loosely translates from Thai to “airplane,” it’s hard to have any sort of expectations. I was happy to be greeted on the opening track, “Cómo Me Quieres,” with free-flowing guitar phrases over a funky bassline and active percussion. Each song follows a similar instrumentation with a few songs featuring supporting vocals or auxiliary percussion, but the album has a constant structural build. A bass backbone sits atop a foundation of drums with a flurry of guitar melodies to decorate the whole thing. With such a small ensemble and an instrumental focus, it can be hard for a full album to not feel repetitive and get boring, but the trio utilizes a wide range of styles. On top of the dominant funk ambience, there are also large soul, R&B, psychedelic, and latin influences. There is a stark contrast to the feel of each song, but the transitions are smooth enough to keep the album logically flowing. They keep the project fresh and interesting, not random and ambiguous. No track is without that small room, easy listening, smooth-as-can-be feel that defines the group. Particular songs will focus on a specific style, slowing things down to give a more intimate soul feel, or using a bright repeating drum/bassline to create a hip-hop environment. It’s hard to describe the feeling this album gives you as you listen to it. It’s both exhilarating and relaxing,
Bottom Line: This is a unique album with sounds that you wouldn’t likely find in the charts, but it brings a powerful creative energy that makes Khruangbin stand out in early 2018. They are definitely on my list of artists to watch for in the future.
Snapshot Rating: Give it a listen. You can put it on the background and just enjoy the soothing feel it emanates.