Heavily influenced by the sound of mid-1980s synth pop, a touch of Gary Numan and art rockers along the lines of a more commercially-minded Peter Gabriel, Ennui’s Telepathic Beat, headed by Pittsburgh-based musician and producer Jim Doutrich, exists in that marketing sweet spot between art and artifice, capable of tapping into all the necessary moods and emotions while failing to instill any sort of lasting impression beyond the initial experiential immersion in what the album as a whole has to offer.
Lush, synth-based soundscapes slowly simmer beneath Doutrich’s airy tenor, electronic drums burbling and sputtering away as his vocals hover detachedly above, aloof and the aural embodiment of the group’s name. Often on the verge of sounding somewhat somnambulant, Telepathic Beat exists somewhere between waking and not, half-remembered fragments of familiar pop songs dissolved Dali-esque by sleep to create something at once familiar yet not quite right. The recognizable sounds and textures are all there, they’ve simply been reassembled in new and slightly altered ways. It’s all pleasant enough, but ultimately that’s all it is.
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