[30 September 2011]
Like any good singer-songwriter, Krista Muir has a distinct voice, and Between Atoms is a concise demonstration of that voice. At just more than thirty minutes, Muir doesn’t let her songs carry out any longer than they need to, which, in regards to each song, is a blessing, but, on the whole, serves as a curse. This is most beneficial when it is keeping the album’s best moments from bloating and the album’s worst moments (such as the awkward lyric phrasing in the chorus of “Start Again”) from going on for too long. At worst, it prevents many of the album’s sonic diversities from being fully fleshed out.
Her talent is best shown on tracks like “Shutterbug” and “Marysburg Vortex.” The latter, which has a strong hymnal quality in its insistent pleas for aid, features Muir’s most gorgeous performance on the record. Best of all is the title track, in which Muir displays a knack for scientifically clever observations (“You seem to float between the atoms / Your quarks revealed in glowing shapes”). These songs aside, Between Atoms as a whole is brimming with ideas that could easily lead to cacophony (the mix of electro, pop, folk, and singer-songwriter isn’t always bound to mix), but instead these ideas produce an album that, while indicative of Muir’s skill, amounts to an inoffensive listen.