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Ice Choir

Afar

(Underwater Peoples; US: 31 Jul 2012; UK: 24 Jul 2012)

A Vision of the '80's, 2012

Despite multiple internet searches, I have found no ancestral databases to confirm the blood relation of Ice Choir’s Kurt Feldman to the late ‘80s superstar Corey Feldman. Nevertheless, I can’t but feel like Kurt would have fit in with the Two Coreys and their kin. Feldman, best known for the critical darlings the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, uses the Ice Choir moniker to record the most pure take on ‘80s synth-pop that’s been made since the decade concluded twenty-two years ago. The trend in genres with “synth” as a prefix or “wave” as a suffix continues to grow, but Afar has a spirit of homage rather than revision. Opener “I Want You Now and Always” says it all: sounding like a resurrected Tears for Fears B-side, the song aims at revealing the genre’s nuances but instead comes off as well-executed pastiche. There’s a lot to admire here, especially how authentic a lot of the synth textures are, but in the end unless one is really keen to the music of the ‘80s in its most unadulterated form, Afar will be a dangerously cheesy experience.

Rating:

Brice Ezell is the Assistant Editor of PopMatters, where he also reviews music, film, and books, which he has done since 2011. He also is the creator of PopMatters' Notes on Celluloid column, which covers the world of film music. His writing also appears in Sea of Tranquility and Glide Magazine (formerly Hidden Track). His short story, "Belle de Jour", was published in 67 Press' inaugural publication The Salmagundi: An Anthology. You can follow his attempts at wit on Twitter and Tumblr if you're so inclined. He lives in Chicago.


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Ice Choir - "Two Rings" (Official Video)
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